Northern Ireland

Union flag protests: Man cleared of illegal march charge

A Belfast man has been acquitted of taking part in an illegal march linked to union flag protests.

Adam Brennan was cleared of taking part in an un-notified public procession in the city last December, after saying he did not hear police warnings.

The 26-year-old, of Rochester Avenue, was charged in connection with events on 15 December last year.

Demonstrators walked from east Belfast to protest at a decision to restrict flying of the union flag at City Hall.

Around the Queen's Bridge area, police announced over a loudhailer that the procession was unlawful.

Mr Brennan told Belfast Magistrates Court that he had not heard the notification because of noise levels.

He said he would not have taken part in the march if he had known it was illegal.

His lawyer said that being unaware of the unlawful status provided a defence to the charge.

Following submissions the district judge ruled that he should be acquitted.