Officer hurt amid Belfast trouble

Published Monday, 18 March 2013
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A crowd of masked youths threw missiles at police during disorder in south Belfast on Sunday night, with one officer sustaining injuries.

Officer hurt amid Belfast trouble
Trouble broke out in the Donegall Road area of Belfast. (© Pacemaker)

Bouts of sporadic trouble flared in the Donegall Road, Sandy Row area from 8pm to 10pm.

Police said protestors blocked the Donegall Road with burning bins and carried out "sustained attacks" on the PSNI with bricks and bottles. One officer suffered minor injuries.

Police arrested an 18-year-old man who has since been released.

Ruth Patterson, of the DUP, said the disturbances started after a group of flag protestors were "taunted" by people celebrating St Patrick's Day.

The local councillor said: "A group of people intended to have a flag protest at one of the bars in Shaftesbury Square and on their way round police stopped them and pushed them back into the Donegall Road when at which point a crowd of people who had been celebrating St Patrick's Day shouted and chanted. That is when trouble ensued.

"The police are there to do a job and we understand that but there seems to be a one-sided agenda at the moment with the PSNI and that is most certainly to come down very heavily on flag protestors while others get away with everything."

Alliance South Belfast MLA Anna Lo said the trouble erupted after protestors "attempted to walk to a bar but were pushed back by police".

"Everybody must unequivocally condemn this trouble. The blame for these disturbances lies solely with the protestors," she said.

"The St Patrick's day celebrations were a great success, so I am disappointed that a tiny minority were intent on trying to ruin the day."

Calm was restored to the area by around 10pm.

Officers from the PSNI's Operation Dulcet inquiry team - who are investigating offences linked to the Union flag protests in Northern Ireland - said they have been "clear from the outset that there will be consequences for individuals who engage in illegal activity."

A statement continued: "The PSNI have and will continue to make people amenable to the courts and will be carrying out further enquiries to identify those involved in the disorder."

© UTV News
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81 Comments
skipgr in Ireland (north) wrote (588 days ago):
Making claims of victory either way is counter productive. Equal to that is the need to put this notion of one sidedness of 'them'uns get everything' and 'psni are this and that' has to just stop. The fools who readily believe culture is being eroded fueled by DUP/UUP at the start has to be realised for what it was, a cynical ploy to win back the seat that what was lost to Naomi Long in East Belfast. Lowest wits were exploited subsequently by TUV and PUP. PUL community need to get a grip and see redressing the dominance they've enjoyed for far too long as not one of Nationalist potential dominance but rather rightfully just equalling the score and recognise that no one community are 'the people' and necks need to be wound in. There are two major communities and nationalists need to be allowed to have their community seen as equals and not be kept down!
henry in north of ireland wrote (588 days ago):
marc in belfast wrote, sandy row residnts are the salt of the earth...... but the story above reads, officer hurt amid belfast trouble..... i realy dont know who to beleive these days
michael in Beal Feirste wrote (589 days ago):
It seems the unionists cannot tell the difference between the PSNI being pro-catholic and no longer anti-catholic. (or if i was really cynical i would say maybe they can...) To Ruth patterson and all the 'fleg' protestors - Its called a shared society folks, what have you got to be afraid of??
Rab in Belfast wrote (589 days ago):
No Michael everytime i read your comments you talk nothing but nonsense you dont seem to read history and your take on the situation in this country is delusional i dont hate anyone i have a mixed background but am tired of people talking rubbish and saying things which arent true everyone lives in this country and should get on together thats what my problem is with u
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (589 days ago):
The "Themuns" conspiracy, Marc? I chuckle every time an onionist presents fantasy as fact.....
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