Eight officers hurt in bonfire disorder

Published Friday, 09 August 2013
Toggle font size

Eight police officers have been injured and several arrests have been made following serious disorder at an anti-internment bonfire in west Belfast.

Video available to UK viewers only.
We’re sorry. This video is unavailable from your location.

To find out if this video is available to you, we need to know what region you live in. Please enter your postcode below (including space).

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for confirming your region.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are sorry but this video is not available on u.tv in your region. Your region is listed below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you in Northern Ireland?

1. Why is my postcode required?

We are asking you to insert your postcode before watching some videos to confirm you can access the video content via u.tv.

This is because some videos on u.tv are only available in Northern Ireland.

Don't worry, we won't store or use this information for any other purpose.

If you are not in Northern Ireland, the content may be available to watch at itv.com or stv.tv.

2. Why am I directed to itv.com or stv.tv when I try to view certain clips?

The videos, which are not available on u.tv to users outside Northern Ireland, will be available to those users on itv.com (for users in England and Wales) or stv.tv (for most users in Scotland).

We need to know where you are in order to make sure you are getting the right content.

If you think we've got your location wrong, then please click here.

Need more help? Contact us

Paint bombs, bottles and masonry were thrown in the Divis area overnight on Thursday where a large crowd had gathered.

Two of the injured officers had to be taken to hospital after suffering head injuries.

Eight people were arrested for public order offences and a number of streets in the area had to be closed for several hours.

The lord mayor of Belfast, Sinn Féin's Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, condemned it on Twitter.

Disorder also flared at another bonfire in the New Lodge area of north Belfast, where a man attacked police with a sword. Police responded by firing two baton rounds at him.

A statement from the PSNI said: "A thorough investigation is now underway to identify all those involved in the disorder."

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey told UTV the bonfires should not be allowed. He added: "I hope anyone who was injured will make a speedy recovery.

"People do not want to see this happening, they want to live their lives free of these bonfires and they should be a thing of the past. They made a mess of the area and it's totally unacceptable and they cost a lot of money to clear up after."

Lower Falls councillor Colin Keenan, SDLP, said: "For the last number of weeks local people and tourists passing by have been the subject of both verbal and physical assaults.

"Going forward I along with other representatives will continue to champion west Belfast as a place for all to come, visit and enjoy. Anti-social elements will not be allowed to destroy this community which so many of us have worked hard to build."

Earlier on Thursday a female journalist was reportedly attacked at the site of the Divis bonfire.

Meanwhile police have confirmed they are continuing their investigations into reports that a stolen loyalist artwork has been placed on top of it.

The bonfire was erected against the introduction of internment in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.

Around 5,000 people and five bands are expected to take part in an Anti Internment League march through Belfast city centre on Friday evening.

Six loyalist protests from organisations including the Orange Order have been given the go ahead by the Parades Commission.

Organisers of the parade have appealed for calm.

Dee Fennell said: "This is a parade over a human rights issue, not a republican parade and certainly not a dissident republican parade."

A delegation from the DUP has met the PSNI to discuss policing on the night.

"It will be a difficult night," Nelson McCausland MLA said. "This is going to be an affront to all the people who have suffered at the hands of dissident republicans down through the years.

"It is an appalling situation and an affront to decency and democracy."

He added: "I would encourage anyone there to behave peacefully, to make their views known as forcefully and as vocally as they can, but do it always peacefully.

"Violence only plays into the hands of dissident republicans who are intent on violence, they want to provoke a reaction."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
donny in Antrim wrote (247 days ago):
this is a hoods bonfire nothing to do with interment
Mairead in Belfast wrote (249 days ago):
Ozzy in Belfast, if nationalists wanted to copy the ethics of the orange order we would be parading up the shankil with tricolours singing sectarian songs and calling it greenfest. You Goat.
pb in belfast wrote (249 days ago):
did matt baggott condem these riots ?he get's very vocal if loyalist's riot why not now ?
Gary in Belfast wrote (249 days ago):
Johnny aged 5 - I absolutely agree with you son. But to ensure you receive a fulsome education also it is 'Yourselves' not 'Yourselfs.' Good man.
correction in Belfast wrote (249 days ago):
Jonny aged 5 in primary 1.... I think you'll find its 'yourselves' is the word you were looking for.
Email address*:    
House Rules:  
Your Comment:  
[All comments are moderated and will not appear immediately. Your name, location and comment will be displayed on this page if your post passes moderation.]
Mon 31 March 2014
Carrick disturbances
Fri 11 April 2014
President Higgins visits UK
Tue 08 April 2014