ALLIANCE leader David Ford visited the party’s Carrickfergus office this morning after it was ransacked by loyalist protestors on Wednesday evening.
Mr Ford and a number of party colleagues, including Stewart Dickson MLA, assessed the scene at the West Street premises where a fire caused significant damage after violence erupted in the town.
Speaking to the Carrick Times at the location, Mr Ford said: “I’m horrified, this is an attack on democracy, it’s an attack which put at risk the lives of the family next door, put at risk other small businesses, injured four police officers as well as what it did to Stewart’s offices.”
Approximately 1,500 to 1,600 people had gathered in the Irish Gate roundabout area earlier on Wednesday evening to demonstrate against an Alliance “compromise” proposal at Belfast City Council to fly the union flag only on designated days at City Hall.
According to police, the majority of the crowd dispersed however a number remained with bottles and missiles thrown at the height of the disturbances. Four people, two males, two females, were arrested and a number of police officers were injured.
D District Operations Superintendent Philip Knox stated: “The scenes of violence witnessed in Carrickfergus last night were disgraceful and have no place in a democratic society.
“A thorough investigation has now begun and already four people have been arrested with one woman charged to court this morning. We will be focussing on identifying those involved in the violence as well as those who may be responsible for organising it and bringing them to justice.”