Northern Ireland: Accountants count the cost of protests

Northern Ireland's capital Belfast has seen the return of violence over the city council's decision to fly the Union Jack over city hall only on specific days. Rachael Power finds out how local accountants have been affected.

The decision to revoke the century-old tradition of flying the flag over city hall infuriated loyalists and prompted protests and rioting. In spite of the media frenzy that resulted, the violence is localised and on a smaller scale than previous bouts.

But businesses and retailers across the city are paying the price for the protests, with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) estimating the cost of business lost to be around £15m, as tourists and investors stay away. 

AccountingWEB found that most of the accountants we contacted were more concerned about negative outside opinion rather than personal safety.

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Comments
Ray051's picture

Gitom is right

Ray051 | | Permalink

I have a small CIMA practice in Belfast. So far I have not even seen any demonstrations and the violence happens mostly in a small loyalist ghetto in the East of the city. However the perception outside the province is different due to the way media report events. Pictures of burning cars and kids throwing petrol bombs in a area of one square mile do not inform. An accountant colleague visiting me from Southend told me how worried his wife was about his trip. An April meeting I arranged for 10 English and Scottish Accountants will now be moved to Dublin. However if you do come and visit this beautiful city, the upside from the riots is that you can now buy a hotel room for two for only £35.