“…a disruptive loyalist protest outside an empty Leinster House on a busy retail day”

So, now it is the SDLP who are getting it in the neck from the flag protesters. Patsy McGlone (who has said nothing on the matter, so far as Slugger is aware, but who is unfortunate enough to live in a UVF dominant part of the world) has had a bullet in the post. And Claire Hanna has had her house shot up.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has confirmed the incident involving East Belfast nationalist politician Claire Hanna took place yesterday amid ongoing violence over the non-flying of the Union flag at Belfast City Hall.

Ms Hanna said the shots, which struck her front door and windows, were fired from a high-powered ball-bearing gun, and could have been fatal.

Meanwhile Willie Frazer has been telling RTE that the UVF have had nothing to do with the protests. Today, Niall Collins has this to say with regard to Mr Frazer’s proposed march on the Houses of the Oireachtas:

“Mr Frazer appears to be proceeding on the mistaken belief that the national flag is flown at Leinster House on a continuous basis.  In fact, it only flies when the Dáil or Seanad are sitting.

“If Mr Frazer has a coherent case to make on the issue of flags, he should make it in a mature and responsible way.  I would be happy to facilitate a meeting with him to discuss any issue.  However, I do not believe that a disruptive loyalist protest outside an empty Leinster House on a busy retail day in Dublin City Centre will advance his case in any way.

In fact, I am confident it will serve only to further alienate a population already struggling to understand the disgraceful scenes in Belfast over the last month.” [Emphasis added]

Unsurprising considering what happened last time Willie headed south (though it should be said, they’d barely got their feet on the ground before some of the locals kicked the whole thing off)…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty