Lisburn protest passes off peacefully

Despite grave concerns over a protest planned to take place at the Longstone roundabout on Thursday evening (April 8), thankfully it passed off peacefully.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 5:32 pm
Councillor Sorcha Eastwood

It is understood that approximately 175 people, said to be mainly youths, gathered for the protest.

Thanks to the hard work of the PSNI, community representatives, and local organisations, the protest against the NI Protocol was peaceful and there was no repeat of the violent scenes which have been seen in Belfast over recent nights.

Lisburn Alliance Councillor Sorcha Eastwood observed the protest together with representatives from the YMCA, community workers and the police.

She thanked local groups and organisations for their part in keeping the event peaceful and praised local young people for remaining calm and not getting drawn into any trouble during the protest.

Speaking after the protest had finished, she said: “I know it has been an anxious 24 hours since rumours started on social media of a possible protest, that as I understand, wasn’t started by people from the town.

“I’ve spent the last 24 hours liaising with police, community groups, bandsmen, youth workers, charities and I want to say a huge well done to you all and thank you to our local young people who showed great leadership and sense and didn’t get involved and to local bands, particularly Lambeg Orange & Blue who actively discouraged attendance at any planned protest.

“This is our community. A shared place, a peaceful place. A place where all are respected and we have the good community relations in place to withstand attempts from those who would seek to try and bring trouble to our door.

“What i would say is to those sharing information about protests in various places, please desist. The majority of people milling around aren’t from the town and people driving up, parking up cars to have a nosey.

“If these things aren’t shared, then people wouldn’t know to drive up or bring a car load of people with them. I understand why people share them as they are trying to warn folks, but let friends and family know offline, let police and elected representatives know so arrangements can be put in place.

“I’m so thankful for the leadership shown by our community and I know we will be able to face these challenges together as a united community, because that is what we are building together; a united community. Hopefully our wee town will remain quiet,”