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Around a dozen people turned up at Newry Town Hall this afternoon to protest over the killing of George Floyd in America at the hand of police.

A police officer speaks to protestors at Newry Town Hall who had come out in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign after the killing of George Floyd in America.  Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
A police officer speaks to protestors at Newry Town Hall who had come out in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign after the killing of George Floyd in America. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

The original protest had been called off by organisers after the PSNI intervened last night and urged them to call off their protest, but nevertheless several people turned up today.

Damian McShane protesting at the town hall. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Damian McShane protesting at the town hall. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

The silent protest took place at 1pm outside Newry Town Hall with organisers making sure 'social distance' was observed. Protestors knelt down in silence for several minutes.

Around 10 PSNI observed the protest. After the kneel down protest a police officer asked the assembly to disperse and all were gone within 20 minutes.

Protestors outside Newry Town Hall today in solidarity with the 'Black Lives Matter' campaign following George Floyd's death at the hand of police officers in America. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Protestors outside Newry Town Hall today in solidarity with the 'Black Lives Matter' campaign following George Floyd's death at the hand of police officers in America. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Protestor Damian McShane said "I'm here protesting in remembrance of George Floyd who was killed in America by the police. Today we are surrounded here by police too but we are still protesting. This is for the Black, Asian minorities and ethnic minorities and groups. All lives matter here. That's why we're here. We want to see the end of racism in our town in our town, in our country and in the world."

Another protester Laura Higgins said she was protesting to highlight "injustice"

Pauline Davey and Damian McShane protesting outside Newry Town Hall. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Pauline Davey and Damian McShane protesting outside Newry Town Hall. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Assistant Chief Constable, Alan Todd had said "We are engaging with, explaining to and encouraging organisers to cancel and potential protesters not to go to these events.  However, if this advice – which comes from health professionals, elected representatives and the Chief Medical Officer as well as police -  is ignored and people break the law, then there will be consequences.    We will  then have to move to the fourth E of enforcement – and that means issuing fines and carrying out follow up investigations if required to put people before the courts."

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