Loyalist flag protesters halt traffic at Newbuildings

The scene at Newbuildings last night at loyalist protestors blocked off the Derry to Strabane road around 6.00 o'clock.

The scene at Newbuildings last night at loyalist protestors blocked off the Derry to Strabane road around 6.00 o'clock.

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Loyalist flag protesters have blocked the main road between Derry and Strabane at Newbuildings this evening.

A crowd estimated at between 60 and 70 protesters carrying Union flags brought traffic to a standstill on the city side of traffic lights in the village of Newbuildings at around 6pm.

The protest, which had been announced in advance on social networking sites, disrupted rush hour traffic for commuters travelling on the main A5 arterial route.

Police were at the scene directing traffic approaching the area during the protest.

Meanwhile, another loyalist flag protest has been taking place at Glendermott Road in the Waterside this evening, disrupting city-bound traffic. A similar protest on Wednesday evening temporarily closed the same stretch of road.

It co-incided with a loyalist demonstration staged outside Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson’s newly opened European constituency office at Spencer Road, close to Craigavon Bridge. The protests all passed off peacefully.

The local MEP said she would “not be intimidated” by the protest which took place outside her office, hours after it was officially opened by the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill, with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness among the guests.

Ms Anderson said she wished to represent consitutents from all sides of the community as a member of the European Parliament.