Protesters demonstrate in Belfast against President Trump’s visit to Ireland
A demonstration has taken place in Belfast against Donald Trump’s visit to Ireland.
Protesters from a number of trade unions and advocacy groups gathered at City Hall on Tuesday evening to express their opposition to the US President’s arrival on Wednesday.
The dozens included People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll.
There were verbal altercations as the event started when a counter demonstration was staged by the former deputy leader of Britain First Jayda Fransen and a small group of pro-Trump supporters waving an American and Make America Great Again flags.
They heckled a number of speakers at the event, including protest organiser Jennie Carlsten as she addressed the event.
Ms Fransen was also heckled by anti-Trump protesters.
Mr Trump and his wife Melania will travel to the west coast of Ireland where he will stay at his hotel and golf resort in Doonbeg, Co Clare.
There are set to be several more protests across Ireland against his visit.
However, the president is expected to receive a warm welcome in Doonbeg where American flags are decking the streets ahead of his arrival.
Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International also addressed the event in Belfast.
“We are here to stand against hatred, we are here to stand against division, against bigotry, against discrimination, and on the anniversary of the D-Day landings we are here in the continuing fight against extremism and against fascism,” he told those gathered.
Ms Fransen countered saying: “Mr Trump is democratically elected, he is welcome in our country, if you guys don’t respect democracy, perhaps you should leave.”
A small number of Police Service of Northern Ireland officers monitored the event.
Meanwhile, earlier SDLP leader Colum Eastwood welcomed the voicing of opposition to Mr Trump’s visit.
He said he has boycotted President Trump’s visit.
“I welcome the strong, organised opposition to Trump’s state visit. While he attends state banquets, people from all communities are sending a powerful message that his politics of division, distrust and denial are not welcome on these islands,” he said.