Northern Ireland news

Joel Keys has come to prominence in recent weeks

Loyalist Joel Keys

Joel Keys is one of several young loyalists to emerge since the start of protests linked to the Northern Ireland Protocol last month.

From the Taughmonagh area of south Belfast, he has quickly established himself as an articulate voice for young loyalists.

Aged just 19, he is one of a new generation of loyalists who appear keen to offer a fresh perspective.

And it appears his political ambitions are without limit as the profile on his Twitter account describe him as a "democrat" and "future MLA".

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He came to wider prominence last month after he was arrested during rioting in the Sandy Row area of south Belfast.

At the time and since he has strongly maintained his innocence, saying he was trying to bring a 13-year-old boy he knew away from the violence when he was detained.

He was later held for 18 hours by the PSNI before being released without charge.

Earlier this month he revealed on Facebook that his legal team has been informed that criminal proceedings against him had been dropped.

He said he will continue to pursue a civil action against the PSNI and that a complaint to the Police Ombudsman will also go ahead.

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Northern Ireland news