Lord Mayor 'punched' by loyalists in Belfast

Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir was heckled by loyalist protesters Credit: UTV News

Belfast's Lord Mayor, Sinn Fein's Mairtin O'Muilleor, has been attacked by loyalist protesters at the re-opening of a children's park in north Belfast.

Mr O Muilleoir, 53, required a police escort to evade angry protesters at the re-opening of a park in the staunchly unionist Woodvale area.

The high-profile businessman and city councillor said he was kicked and punched during the altercation. Police said nine of their officers were injured during the incident, although none required hospital treatment.

Community tensions are high in Woodvale after recent loyalist rioting over a decision to prevent three protestant Orange Order lodges parading past the nearby nationalist Ardoyne area.

Loyalists have accused Sinn Fein of waging a cultural war against their community.

Watch UTV's video of the incident: Police shield SF mayor from protesters