Category: Archive

Riots erupt in Belfast

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Golf balls, rocks, and petrol bombs were thrown as police charged rioters with batons and sprayed them with water cannon.
Shortly after 9 p.m. three loud bangs were heard in the area.
Attempts by leading Sinn Fein members, including Gerry Adams, to maintain calm failed and Adams was himself soaked by high-powered water from a police cannon.
The rioting erupted when supporters ahead of the returning Orange Order parade made gestures and shouted slogans at local nationalists who were penned behind PSNI lines.
A golf bottle and a bottle were throw at the supporters and both sides began to engage at what appeared to a gap in the phalanx of police.
The situation quickly deteriorated and the kind of full scale rioting that local leaders such as Father Aidan Troy of Holy Cross School had warned authorities about spread through the area.
Cars were set alight and several journalists covering the riot were injured, one apparently by a police dog.
Stewards assigned to the task of maintaining control of nationalist Ardoyne residents were unable to contain the anger of protestors and were forced to give up.
Father Troy said that the rioting would make it even harder to resolve the impasse over the Ardoyne parade.
Loyalists had provoked and nationalists had reacted, he said. He described the outcome as “so sad.”
Adams said that he believed that the police had reacted too quickly though he acknowledged that crowd stewards had been unable to maintain order.
As dusk fell, the Ardoyne area resembled a battlefield. One injured man writhed on the ground after being apparently hit by a flying missile. Ambulances removed injured people to hospital.
At one point, Sinn Fein policing spokesman Gerry Kelly stopped a speeding hijacked car, pulled the driver out and reversed the car away from the street fighting.
Meanwhile earlier in the day, and speaking at the Twelfth demonstration in Newtownards, Co. Down, the DUP’s Nigel Dodds said that during the Second World War, British leaders had rejected appeasement and confronted fascism.
“That is just as necessary today in relation both to Al Quaeda and as we grapple with the terrorists on our own doorstep”, he said. “These terrorists with their worldwide links are just as deadly and evil.
“Weasel nauseating words of hypocritical sympathy from Sinn Fein/IRA about the London bombings cannot hide the continuing intense involvement of the IRA in a plethora of activities. I have a message for Adams and company. Nobody who matters in unionism is listening to you anymore.
“We see rampant hatred by Sinn Fein of the right of unionists to express our identity and heritage. The republican attitude is symptomatic of a fascist mentality”.
Earlier, Sinn F

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