Published Friday, 07 September 2012
Violence broke out at a republican parade in north Belfast on Sunday. (© Pacemaker)
The High Court heard that troublemakers threw anything they could lay their hands on during an eight-hour onslaught following a republican parade on Sunday.
Details of the first wave of disorder emerged on Friday as bail was granted to a 17-year-old boy accused of injuring two police officers.
The teenage suspect faces charges of riotous assembly, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault on police and resisting arrest.
All of the alleged offences were committed on Sunday, when violence first flared in the Carlisle Circus area.
More than 60 police officers were subsequently injured over three consecutive nights and three were taken to hospital after they were knocked unconscious.
Prosecution barrister Conor Maguire said the trouble started when 300 loyalists protesting at the parade were moved back up Clifton Street.
During eight hours of subsequent disorder in nearby Denmark Street dozens of petrol bombs, hundreds of firework bangers, bricks, breeze blocks and cobble stones were thrown at police.
"Flower pots were stolen from a nearby nursing home," Mr Maguire said.
"Forty seven officers were injured on Sunday night alone, three of whom were knocked unconscious and had to be taken to hospital.
The 17-year-old was allegedly seen throwing masonry, wood and metal at police lines. He was arrested but fought and resisted, violently inflicting injuries on officers, it was claimed.
Mr Maguire said: "As a result of their involvement with this applicant two police constables sustained injuries resulting in hospital treatment."
Opposing bail, the barrister detailed concerns over the Ulster Covenant event which 120 bands are due to attend.
"Forty of those bands will pass by the Carlisle Circus area, including Clifton Street, and they are requesting of the Parades Commission that they will parade past St Patrick's Chapel," he explained.
"In addition to the 40 bands there will be marchers and supporters, and police believe there is the potential for serious public disorder."
Defence barrister Sean Doherty argued that his client should be released due to his age, and to ensure equal treatment with other teenage riot suspects granted bail.
He claimed the prosecution had failed to show there was a risk of re-offending based on his client's past behaviour.
Bail was granted under strict conditions, including a night-time curfew, electronic tagging and a ban on being within 500 metres of any parade or protest.
Mr Justice Horner further ordered he be confined to his home during the upcoming Ulster Covenant commemoration.