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Northern Ireland leaders to meet over flag clashes

The heads of the five main political parties will meet to discuss the unrest across Northern Ireland over the past two and a half weeks.

Loyalists clash with PSNI officers after the council voted on the motion on the British flag
Loyalists clash with PSNI officers after the council voted on the motion on the British flag
Image: AP Photo/Peter Morrison

NORTHERN IRELAND LEADERS are to meet in Stormont today in a bid to stem the clashes over the flying of the Union flag which have lasted almost three weeks.

The heads of the five main political parties will discuss the unrest which has seen death threats to politicians, violence, and children as young as 11 arrested.

First Minister Peter Robinson of the DUP has said he will be asking the leaders to agree a formal review of the flags issue, which would include a public consultation process, the BBC reports.

Belfast City Council voted on 3 December to reduce the number of days the Union flag flew over the City Hall building from 365 to 15. The original proposal by the nationalist-controlled council would have seen the flag taken down completely; however a compromise motion from the Alliance Party reduced the number of days instead.

Loyalist protesters have taken to the streets for many nights over the past two and a half weeks to express their unhappiness with the decision.

Read: Children among 15 arrested during protests across Northern Ireland >

Read: Loyalists plan protests across North over new policy on Union flag >

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Christine Bohan

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