Northern Ireland

100 people stage protest at Asda store in north Belfast

Billy Hutchinson
Image caption Billy Hutchinson said the dismissed employee should get his job back

About 100 people have held a protest outside a supermarket in north Belfast over the dismissal of an employee.

A group gathered outside Asda on the Shore Road for the second time in two days.

Protesters claimed that the man was dismissed for a "throwaway remark" involving the loyalist song, The Sash.

A spokesperson for Asda said it did not comment on individual cases. She said the supermarket operated a formal process including a right of appeal.

One of those protesting said that the man had been dismissed after telling some people playing music in the store's car park that they should play The Sash instead.

The Sash commemorates King William's victory at Battle of the Boyne in 1690 and is played at loyalist parades.

It has caused controversy in the past, with critics claiming that it contains sectarian sentiment.

Billy Hutchinson, a former Progressive Unionist party member and MLA in north Belfast, said the man was sacked "unfairly".

"He is a well-liked person, he is a bit of a character. People going to Asda love going to his till," he said.

"They (the protestors) are trying to make a point. You can't sack people for this sort of behaviour. We want the person's job to be reinstated."