Category: Archive

PSNI failing to tackle loyalist rioters – S.F.

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Strike marks on a gable wall showed how close Catholic residents came to being hit while a blast bomb was found in a garden in the shadow of the peaceline and metal bolts rained down during eight hours of violence.
Community leaders on the Catholic side accept that some local youths retaliated by throwing missiles back across at the Protestant side of the peaceline but insist they managed to keep them in check.
Tension had been building up in the area for weeks, getting significantly worse from Wednesday onwards until Saturday when it raged out of control with 400 people involved.
Contributing factors were an Old Firm football game between Celtic and Rangers in Scotland, which the former lost 3-0, and a local loyalist band parade.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland was accused of not doing enough to stop the rioting. Miraculously, only one person was injured during the clashes.
The police said they could not resolve community tensions on their own and described the riot as spontaneous. Sinn Fein East Belfast representative Deborah Devenny said they had failed to crackdown on the rioters.
“The PSNI have once again demonstrated their unwillingness to deal with loyalist thugs intent upon intimidating the people of this area. We are sickened and disgusted by a week long siege,” she said.
“A barrage of ball-bearings, golf balls, bricks and bottles have rained down upon people and property”, she said, calling on unionist leaders to “face down” those behind the violence.
The area went through months of the same sort of violence three years ago. Some residents were in tears on Saturday night as their homes came under attack, explaining they could not find anyone to buy their houses so they could move out.
A police spokeswoman said the force would be investigating and assessing the evidence gathered, including CCTV, to identify offenders. “However, police cannot resolve these issues alone,” she said.
SDLP deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell condemned those responsible and appealed for calm. “Once again, mindless sectarian violence has blackened the name of Belfast and damaged fragile community relations.”
There was also violence in north Belfast at the weekend involving both Catholic and Protestant youths, some as young as six, in the Ardoyne and Glenbryn areas – where the Holy Cross school blockade took place four years ago.
Sinn F

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese