Northern Ireland news

Loyalists plan Ulster Hall rally to oppose Boris Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement

Loyalists are planning a rally next month to protest against the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

A LOYALIST rally has been planned for the Ulster Hall next month following a series of smaller town hall meetings to voice opposition to Boris Johnson's proposed Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Billed as a 'Stop the Betrayal Act - Preserve the Union' rally the gathering will take place on December 6, less than a week before the general election.

The Irish News understands that it will be a 1,000 capacity ticket-only event. It is not clear yet if any elected representatives will address those present.

Loyalists have been voicing outrage at the planned Withdrawal Agreement that will place a regulatory border in the Irish Sea, claiming it amounts to an economic 'united Ireland'.

In the past the Ulster Hall has held significance for loyalists in times of political crises.

In November 1986, 2,000 men descended on Ulster Hall, for an invitation-only event organised by DUP to protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Sammy Wilson, who was then the lord mayor of Belfast, addressed the crowd while party leader Ian Paisley later warned the audience that some of them "would not see the end of the campaign which was just beginning".

Journalists were denied entry to the gathering but leaflets were handed out to say that an organisation, named Ulster Resistance, was being formed as an "organised and disciplined force, which will neither bend nor budge" until the Anglo-Irish agreement was destroyed.

On September 27, 1912, on the eve of the signing of the Ulster Covenant, thousands of unionist men and women gathered at the Ulster Hall to mark the hugely significant event.

At the gathering Sir Edward Carson was presented with a yellow silk banner, reputed to have been carried by King William's troops at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

In September 2012, to mark the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant, more than 900 loyalists gathered at the Ulster Hall for a mass rally to mark the anniversary of the historical event.

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