Campbell: Prison term for flag protestors should be a warning to others

Alliance Newtownabbey Councillor Tom Campbell has welcomed today’s Court of Appeal ruling which sees new custodial sentences handed down to two Union Flag protestors, after initial sentences were deemed too lenient.

As part of the ruling, the Court of Appeal also issued guidance on future sentencing for those charged with riotous behaviour.

Councillor Tom Campbell said: “Today’s ruling is welcome news, sending a clear message the law will not tolerate those that engage in unacceptable behaviour. The silent majority in our society do not agree with violent protests, which damage the image of Northern Ireland on the world stage.

“As we enter the run-up to Christmas this ruling should act as a warning to anyone thinking of engaging in protests or parades. The court was right to state that persistent mob violence requires in such cases a custodial sentence and people cannot expect to challenge the rule of law without facing serious consequences.

“Christmas is an essential time for traders and business owners across Northern Ireland and I would appeal to anyone involved in organising parades and protests over the next few weeks to stop and think about the financial damage they are inflicting.

“Alliance supports people’s right to parade and protest, however there is deep concern over the planned timing of some of these events.”


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