Petrol bombs thrown and cars set alight in third night of violence in Northern Ireland

Petrol bombs thrown and cars set alight in third night of violence in Northern Ireland

Shocking scenes of violence have broken out on the streets of Northern Ireland for a third night.

A car was set alight in Sperrin Park in the Waterside area of Londonderry, while there were also reports of violent incidents in Carrickfergus, near Belfast on Monday night.

Throughout Monday afternoon, masked loyalist bands marched through the streets in towns across the region, including Portadown, Ballymena and Markethill.

It comes after scenes of violence and unrest among loyalist communities in recent days left dozens injured.

Former DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly, now a special adviser to First Minister Arlene Foster, urged those involved in the incidents in Carrickfergus to stop.

A barricade burns in the middle of North Road in Carrickfergus
Officials are calling for calm

She tweeted: “Emotions can run high and frustrations deep, but injury, arrest and prosecution will blight your life forever.

“We believe in the rule of law, break it and there are rightful consequences. Get home, be safe and make your genuine concerns heard in democratic and non-violent ways.”

In Carrickfergus, a crowd of young people gathered in the North Road area and lit a fire in the middle of the road.

Petrol bombs were sporadically thrown at police, according to witnesses on Monday night.

A gang of around 20 youths were spotted at the site of an enflamed car in Sperrin Park.

Earlier, the Police Service of Northern Ireland [PSNI] had appealed to community leaders to put a stop to the disorder that has taken place throughout much of the last week.

It follows a turbulent week of events in Northern Ireland, as loyalist tensions simmered over into violence.

PSNI Land Rovers move in as rioting broke out overnight
Five officers were injured on Sunday

Five police officers were injured after being pelted with petrol bombs and masonry in Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus, near Belfast, on Sunday night.

It brings the total number of police injured in incidents in Londonderry and Belfast over the Easter weekend to 32.

Petrol bombs were thrown at PSNI officers and bins and pallets set on fire in disturbing scenes in Belfast and Derry in recent days.

Chief Supt Davy said the attacks were “clearly orchestrated”.

He added: “I believe that there’s a small group of disaffected criminal elements that are clearly involved in influencing young people, and I would appeal to young people in those areas not to allow this to happen.”

He said the PSNI will be engaging with the local community, councillors and representatives “to try and put a stop to this.”

On Monday night, a masked loyalist band marched through the streets of Portadown, playing drums and flutes and waving flags.

Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd condemned the march, which he said was intended to intimidate the local community.

PSNI Land Rovers move in as rioting broke out overnight
Children as young as 12 have reportedly been involved in the incidents

He said: “Tonight’s so-called band parade in Portadown was led by masked men through the streets, reminiscent of the scenes recently in Pitt Park in East Belfast when a loyalist mob went on a rampage to intimidate families out of their homes.

“Irresponsible and dangerous sabre rattling and reckless rhetoric from Unionist politicians has seen tensions rise right across the community.”

Similar marches took place in Markethill and Ballymena throughout the day.

Children as young as 12 have been involved in some of the incidents that have taken place over the weekend, police said.

Chief Supt Davy said: “What concerns me most are the young people who are being suckered in to this type of behaviour.

“So again I would appeal to parents to think about where their young people are, think about who they’re with.

“And try and have a conversation with them and encourage them not to get involved, not to get sucked in and not to be used in this way.

“Because effectively, that’s what’s happening. They’re being used by other elements within the community.”

Earlier on Monday, the PSNI condemned what it called “senseless and reckless criminal behaviour” in Derry the previous day.

Chief Superintendent Darrin Jones said: “Again we saw our officers targeted, pelted with petrol bombs and masonry in the Dungiven Road area, where pallets were placed on the road and set alight.

Tensions have soared within the loyalist community in recent months over post-Brexit trading arrangements, which it is claimed have created barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Anger ramped up further last week following a controversial decision not to prosecute 24 Sinn Fein politicians for attending a large-scale republican funeral during Covid-19 restrictions.



All Credit

Author: admin