Northern Ireland

Ban lifted on Jamie Bryson making speeches

Jamie Bryson
Image caption Jamie Bryson is no longer banned from making speeches or giving interviews about flags protests

High-profile union flag protester Jamie Bryson is no longer banned from making public speeches, a judge has ruled.

A prohibition on using social media and giving press interviews has also been lifted.

The restrictions were removed following an earlier decision to withdraw incitement charges against him.

Police objected to the application for bail terms to be varied, arguing that Mr Bryson has a leadership role in protests.

Concerns

The 23-year-old, from Rosepark, Donaghadee, County Down, is still accused of taking part in unlawful processions and obstructing traffic during demonstrations over the decision to fly the union flag at Belfast City Hall on designated days only.

Last week the two most serious charges against him were dropped. They involved claims that he encouraged or assisted offences by addressing public gatherings.

Those alleged offences, under the Serious Crime Act, would have been dealt with in the Crown Court where heavier sentences could be imposed on conviction.

He faces four counts of participating in an un-notified public procession and obstructing traffic on Belfast's Newtownards Road in January.

The police voiced concerns about a parade planned for the end of November to mark the first anniversary of the protests.

The district judge granted the applications for both variations of bail terms.

However, Mr Bryson is still barred from going within a mile of any parade or demonstration.

His case was adjourned for two weeks when a date for a hearing will be fixed.

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