Hundreds of protesters have gathered at demonstrations in Belfast and in Londonderry in a nationwide approach to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

It follows the death of 49-year-old George Floyd.

The unarmed African American George Floyd died after a white police officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis on May 25.

In total, five events in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign were planned to take place at five locations across Northern Ireland.

Three demonstrations in Omagh, Newry and Portadown didn't go ahead as they were cancelled.

However, crowds did gather in Belfast and Londonderry, despite the current health protection guidelines.

Police across Northern Ireland conducted checks on roads and at transport hubs ahead of the protests.

They urged anyone travelling to take part in a demonstration can expect to be stopped, advised to return home and could face a fine or court appearance.

Earlier this week, the Chief Constable, Alan Todd had called for organisers to cancel this afternoon's events, as mass gatherings breach current lockdown regulations.

In a statement, appealing to the public on Friday he said: "In normal circumstances, we would work with organisers to facilitate peaceful protests – but these are not ordinary times. The protests are important and for a worthy cause and we understand the public’s frustration and anger.

"However, protesting against the unnecessary and unjustifiable death of a person in the United States risks the unnecessary and unjustifiable deaths of people in Northern Ireland who could contract the virus as a result.

“There is no allowance within the Regulations to travel in order to attend a protest and to do so is a breach of Regulation 5.

" Attending mass gatherings is a breach of Regulation 6. It is simply not possible to exercise social distancing effectively when people are gathered together in large numbers. Please consider other ways to protest – perhaps at home or in the virtual or digital space"

Crowds gather at the Guildhall in Londonderry earlier today. Credit: UTV

A new mural on west Belfast's international wall dedicated to George Floyd has been completed.

The mural was developed by Belfast tourism development organisation Failte Feirste Thiar and Feile an Phobail, Ireland's largest community arts festival, who came together with mural artists Marty Lyons and Mickey Docherty.

New mural on west Belfast's international wall dedicated to George Floyd has been completed. Credit: Pacemaker