Ap April 2015 top front

24 February 2013

Resize: A A A Print

UUP councillor in Union flags unrest complains about St Patrick's festival costs

Independent Retail Trade Association says flag protests over the holiday period cost retailers almost £15million

AN ULSTER Unionist Party councillor who took part in loyalist flag protests that crippled many small businesses in Belfast over the Christmas period has complained that a four-day St Patrick's festival will cost the city up to £180,000.

South Belfast UUP Councillor Bob Stoker said the cost of the festival to the council is “excessive” in the current economic climate.

But that didn't stop Councillor Stoker taking part in Union flag protests that resulted in huge losses for city centre businesses and cost at least 300 jobs.

In December, Stoker even went as far as to defy his own party leader by joining 150 other protesters outside the Newtownards Road office of the Alliance Party just 24 hours after loyalists had attempted to murder a female PSNI officer at the same spot.

According to the Independent Retail Trade Association (NITRA), the flag protests over the holiday period cost retailers almost £15million in lost revenue as protesters blocked roads and forced shops, restaurants and businesses to close early.

This year's St Patrick's Day festival in Belfast will include a parade, concerts, film showings, photographic and history exhibitions, family events, walking tours, craft workshops and much more with the overwhelming majority of events being free of charge.

Belfast Mayor Gavin Robinson (DUP), whose party in previous years had attempted to block funding for the event, said Belfast is "going to be buzzing" and encouraged people from all backgrounds to enjoy the events in the city.

2015 Easter Commemorations

1916 | 2015

Easter Commemorations

Attend your local Easter commemoration

Téigh chun do chumhneachán Cásca áitiúl

Irish Volunteer Vol 2

Ireland's revolutionary history now online

An Phoblacht is making all the editions of The Irish Volunteer – the newspaper of the Irish Volunteer movement – available online exactly 100 years after they were first published

This historic paper was first published in February 1914 and up till just days before the Easter Rising.

The official newspaper of the Irish Volunteers outlining the political views of the leadership with reports on all the important events. Also political opinions and news reports, plus fascinating advertisements for such items as revolvers, bandoliers and military uniforms from stockists across Ireland.

Read these fascinating insights into Irish revolutionary history with an online subscription to An Phoblacht for just €10 per year.

GUE NGL wide ad gif

Premium Online Service For Only €10 Per Year

For less than €1 a month, you get An Phoblacht’s Premium Online Service. Sign up today!


  • Full access to all An Phoblacht articles
  • Interactive online PDF Booklet of each edition
  • Access to our historic Archives
  • Discounts for the Online Sinn Féin Shop

Only €10 Per
Year Get It Here

Follow us on Facebook

An Phoblacht on Twitter

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

Powered by Phoenix Media Group