Trouble erupts in Belfast: Naked man draped in Irish flag pictured on street, three arrests, police officer injured
Published 17/03/2016 | 09:21
A police officer has been injured after a drunken crowd of around 300 gathered in the Holyland area blocking roads, throwing missiles and reportedly singing "pro-IRA songs".
Shortly after 2am in the early hours of St Patrick's Day police received the report to the Agincourt Avenue area of south Belfast.
The disturbance lasted for over two hours as police attempted to disperse the drunken crowd who were damaging property.
One police officer told the BBC that some people in the crowd had been singing "pro-IRA songs".
It ended at around 4.30am and police remained in the area.
Three males were arrested on suspicion of a number of public order offences and an officer was injured when he was struck on the shoulder by a bottle.
The males arrested are aged 19, 20 and 21 and all three remain in custody at this time.
Police will maintain a visible presence in the coming days.
Superintendent Darrin Jones said: “Police will continue to have a highly visible presence in the area over the coming days. I want everyone to enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations but I would strongly encourage people to consider the long term consequences of engaging in drunken or anti-social behaviour.
"Police will deal robustly with any offences to bring people before the courts, and this may lead to career limiting sanctions. Police will be on the streets of Belfast throughout the day to ensure anyone wishing to travel, work or socialise in Belfast can do so safely.”