Belfast protests: Three arrests

A man and two teenagers have been arrested in Belfast during protests over the Union flag controversy.

Latest ITV News reports

Northern Ireland Secretary in Belfast after violence

Theresa Villiers
Theresa Villiers is discussing the ongoing problems with Belfast's business leaders. Credit: ITV News / Emily Morgan

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers is meeting business leaders in Belfast to find out how the city is coping after another weekend of trouble over the union flag.

Ms Villiers is meeting Bob Conbrey, the owner of Home restaurant near Belfast City Hall, who says his business has been affected by the flag protests turning violent.

PSNI chief pleads with parents to control riot children

by Emily Morgan - ITV News Correspondent
Belfast youths
Youths have been caught up in the violence that has followed flag protests in the city. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott has said the Belfast rioting is being manipulated by criminal gangs.

Young people are being led by the nose to prison, he said, while issuing a plea to parents to control their children.

Mr Baggott added that the police tactics were under constant review throughout the trouble.

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PSNI chief's sadness after Belfast violence

by Emily Morgan - ITV News Correspondent
PSNI officers
Officers were pelted with petrol bombs, fireworks and other missiles during Friday's trouble. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott has said today is one of "overwhelming sadness" following another weekend of violence in Belfast.

He described the latest trouble as "a big challenge" and said the way forward was consistent condemnation of violence and to reassert the legitimacy of politics.

Mr Baggott said Friday's rioting was intense and made more difficult by the sheer scale of the trouble - there were 4,000 out in total and not stewarded.

But he said the trouble was contained, using measured and responsible policing. A more rigid approach would be impossible he added, with safety the top priority.

Belfast traders estimate £15 million lost over Christmas

Holly Reynolds 4, from Belfast, joins peace protesters at Belfast City Hall yesterday Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Belfast traders will attend a crisis meeting on Wednesday to discuss losses caused by the Union flag protests.

The Confederation of British Industry estimated that £15 million was lost over Christmas because some people avoided the area altogether.

Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are set to meet with British and Irish governments later this week.

Urgent meeting to be held with Belfast retailers

An urgent meeting has been called by Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce, with retailers to discuss the downturn in trade over the Christmas period, and the continued hardship suffered by the business community.

It will be held on Wednesday at what was once the most bombed hotel in Europe, the Europa, in Belfast city centre.

There is no doubt that the past two months have been incredibly difficult for traders in Belfast.

We want to hear the first-hand experience of businesses, along with their views and opinions on the current crisis.

– Joe Jordan, Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce president

Police warn drivers of protests in East Belfast

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) warned drivers that protests have been disrupting traffic in East Belfast.

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Police are advising motorists that the Albertbridge Rd has now re-opened following earlier protest. Castlereagh Stt remains closed.

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Police are advising motorists to avoid the area of Albertbridge Road and Castlereagh Street in East Belfast due to ongoing protest.

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Senior politicians to discuss Union flag protests

Senior politicians from Belfast, Dublin and London will meet this week to discuss the Union flag protests in Belfast, after more than 40 days of road blocks and sporadic violence by loyalists have failed to produce a solution.

Riot police stand next to a burned out car in east Belfast
Riot police stand next to a burned out car in east Belfast Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and his deputy Martin McGuinness will join Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers and Ireland's Deputy Leader Eamon Gilmore.

Mr Gilmore said the violence "has nothing to do with real issues around flags and identity in a shared society", and claimed those behind it "are known criminals, intent on creating chaos"

Twenty-nine police injured amid Union flag protests

Twenty-nine police officers were injured in Belfast today as they fought to break up sectarian clashes between loyalists and nationalists in the city.

The police faced a hail of bricks and fireworks on the latest day of protests, which have now lasted nearly six weeks.

ITV News Correspondent Emily Morgan reports from Belfast on a city where tensions are still running high tonight:

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