Gaza protest passes without incident

Lurgan’s Gaza protest passed off without incident yesterday with a crowd of around 300-400 gathering to support an end to what was described as ‘genocide’ in the region.

Guest speaker was longtime Gaza campaigner John Hurson.

The rally was attended by a broad spectrum of local people along with political representatives from both Sinn Fein and the SDLP.

There was a small counter protest staged by loyalists and PUP members, with an Israeli flag unfurled at one stage. The ‘MAIL’ did not witness the incident but video from loyalists at the scene shows no incident from either side.

Police kept a low profile during the protest, which lasted for around 45 minutes.

As the protest broke-up a car drove through the town centre playing loyalist band music at high volume on the stereo. Apart from some sharp looks from shoppers and protesters there, our reporter saw no other incident.

It has been claimed police did step in to end a verbal altercation close to the scene but this has not been confirmed.

A post regarding the protest by a PUP spokesman giving a very different version of events on the protest has drawn a furious reaction from Facebook users, many of them scotching the claims.

The PUP claim organisers struggled to maintain control of the crowd as the Israeli flag was unfurled and that a 999 call was made ‘as the crowd became uncontrollable’.

According to police no incidents were noted.

More on this story in our print edition on Thursday.