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Loyalist protesters picket Lidl over poppy row

Protestors outside the Lidl store on the Shore Road in north Belfast

DOZENS of loyalists picketed a north Belfast supermarket last night in protest at poppies not being sold in store.

Protesters staged a picket outside the Lidl outlet on the Shore Road from around 7pm.

They claimed that the shop refused to allow poppy sellers to set up a stall, despite being asked by local residents.

However, a Lidl Northern Ireland spokeswoman said the store had agreed to support a cancer charity and it was "not feasible" to back every good cause.

Police maintained a presence during the protest.

A police spokesman said last night: "Police attended and monitored a protest at a supermarket in the Shore Road area of North Belfast on the evening of Tuesday 3 November. The protest has now ended."

A spokeswoman for Lidl NI said the supermarket has chosen to support one charity that helps children and young people with cancer.

"Lidl Northern Ireland has committed to a two year charity partnership with CLIC Sargent focusing on a number of key initiatives throughout the year," she said.

"This campaign involves our entire team of staff across our 38 stores in NI and any store-based fundraising activity will be focused on CLIC Sargent during this time.

"We respect and applaud the fantastic work done by the many outstanding charities across NI, however, it is unfortunately not feasible to support all of them as we have chosen to support one charity, CLIC Sargent, at this time."

In 2010, angry loyalists picketed the nearby Asda outlet on the Shore Road for four days after an employee was sacked for telling a delivery man he should play The Sash in his van instead of pop music.

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