Petrol bombs thrown in east Belfast

Published Friday, 12 July 2013
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A number of petrol bombs have been thrown at police officers during serious disorder in east Belfast on Friday night.

Petrol bombs thrown in east Belfast
Water cannon is deployed at the scene of disorder (© UTV)

Two people have been arrested for rioting in the Lower Newtownards Road, where golf balls, bricks and fireworks were also thrown at police lines.

A PSNI spokesperson said no officers are believed to have been injured as a result.

Bricks, bottles and other items were also thrown between rival loyalist and nationalist crowds at the Short Strand interface.

Police said there was "an element within these crowds that is intent on violence".

A line of police land rovers and officers in riot gear moved in along the Lower Newtownards Road to disperse crowds.

UTV reporter Marc Mallett, who was at the scene, said: "The violence that I witnessed in east Belfast this evening was rather vicious. It all happened as Orangemen were trying to complete their parade returning along the Newtownards Road past the Short Strand interface."

Two water cannons were deployed in the area and the road was closed to motorists.

The Parades Commission must go but violence is not the way to achieve it. All protests must be peaceful.

Orange Order

Later it is understood a band was stopped on the Albertbridge Road to prevent it from approaching the area.

Castlereagh Street and Albertbridge Road were also closed due to a build up of crowds in the area.

On Twitter DUP leader Peter Robinson wrote that reports from party members "attest to the trouble starting when the parade was attacked from Short Strand".

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Niall O'Donnghaile described his comments as "highly irresponsible".

He said homes on Strand Walk and St Matthew's Church had been attacked on Friday.

"Some young people from within the Short Strand did then engage in stone throwing back and forward over the interface for a short period," he said.

"What was orchestrated was the decision of the Orange Order to wind up the situation in Belfast knowing it would result in violence on the streets."

Local MP Naomi Long said: "Violence is never inevitable and all attacks on the PSNI and community must be condemned.

"We need responsible language and leadership from elected representatives, rather than blame game politics to ensure this violence is brought to an end," the Alliance representative added.

Police said the Lower Newtownards Road, Castlereagh Street and Albertbridge Road have now reopened to traffic after crowds dispersed.

Serious disorder also erupted in north Belfast after an Orange feeder parade was prevented from passing the Ardoyne shopfronts.

Elsewhere police said crowds gathered on the Killylea Road in Armagh.

Reacting to the evening's events, the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has called for calm.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
robert in Ulster wrote (566 days ago):
any chance the uneducated fools saying the parades go through a nationalist area in Ardoyne could actually get their facts right as it doesnt the so called nationalist area is further back behind the shops so once again so called offended people have to move to a different location to be offended.
Michael in Belfast wrote (566 days ago):
Petrol bombs thrown in East Belfast.....must have been the Parades Commission...arrest them immediately.
Dorothy in Kansas wrote (566 days ago):
Gary in Ards wrote: "This is warning to us to what will happen in united ireland". If you bother to look, you will see that there is nothing like this in The Republic. Rather you should say: if The Republic hadn't got its independence in 1921 this sort of lawlessness would be happening there as well. When the Irish are left to rule themselves, without interference, they get on with each other and with life.
culture? in short strand wrote (566 days ago):
Firstly.... how can we expect to have a shared future and learn to respect one another when the majority of bonefires thrive on demonstrating bigotry! I genuinely respect the fact that the 11th night bonefires are tradition but if its 'orange culture' to burn national flags or make a mockery of others views and beliefs then maybe those should revise their definition of the orange culture. Also I agree, this alone doesn't make it ok for mass riots and violence to break out on our streets!! It is 2013 not 1969... people really need to move on! Personally, I don't care about the parades or ask for their removal but would it not be more visable to keep them in areas where they are appreciated instead of passing, or in ardyonnes case, goin through nationalist areas! Have ur culture, if its the proper culture, by all means but the constant need to rub nationalist noses in it is just begging for trouble! Most genuine People on both sides want peace but its a small minority holdin our country back!!....People who do not know their history are deemed to repeat it, this statement is a perfect realisation in which many seem to forget!
chris in belfast wrote (566 days ago):
when will utv ever show what really happens this is the first time in months i have even looked at a utv site,wouldn't even watch there tv channel because of the way they report on the flag/parades ? the good people of east belfast know what started this (i was there) why don't utv ever show the truth why why why ? screen shot took of this post,if not shown i will tweet/facebook it
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