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‘Republican protesters discouraging shoppers from coming to Dungannon’

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

‘Republican protesters discouraging shoppers from coming to Dungannon’ thumbnailRepublican protesters in Dungannon on Saturday.

REPUBLICAN protesters who staged a "white line" protest in Dungannon on Saturday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, have been described as "mindless thugs".

It has been claimed the presence of the protesters, who were protesting against strip searching in prisons, was "discouraging visitors from coming into the town".

The protest was staged on the Newell Road in the town on Saturday afternoon, with around 40-50 in attendance.

Saturday past was billed as "Small Business Saturday", aimed at encouraging the public to shop in their local, home-grown stores.

But the DUP's Dungannon Councillor Clement Cuthbertson says the protest was "the last thing" traders needed.

He told the Courier: "I totally condemn the protest which took place on the Newell Road on Saturday. The first Saturday in December was a day which Dungannon and other villages were promoting as 'Small Business Saturday'.

"This promotional event was aiming to encourage shoppers to shop local and support, in particular, small independent businesses.

"I was contacted by a constituent who had been heading into Dungannon when he came across this protest, which involved people standing on the road.

“Like many in other towns, traders of Dungannon are facing ever increasing financial pressures and the last thing they need are mindless thugs discouraging visitors from coming into the town.

"These people are not welcomed by the Dungannon community, traders of Newell Road and Dungannon town centre."

Meanwhile, republicans held a candlelight vigil on Sunday night past for the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

The recently launched republican political party, Saoradh, held the vigil on Anne Street on Sunday night.

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