Row over UVF violence claims

Published Monday, 03 September 2012
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Loyalist leaders have rejected Sinn Féin claims that the violence which erupted during a planned republican parade in north Belfast was orchestrated by the UVF.

Row over UVF violence claims
Violence broke out at a republican parade in north Belfast on Sunday. (© Pacemaker)

North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has called for Loyal Orders to find a resolution to contentious parades after he blamed the loyalist paramilitary group for orchestrating trouble in the Carlisle Circus, Clifton Street and Antrim Road areas on Sunday.

A total of 47 officers were injured during the trouble after a loyalist crowd of up to 350 people gathered to protest at a march organised by a republican flute band.

Mr Kelly claimed that the parade was "deliberately made contentious".

"There was clearly a well-planned and orchestrated attempt yesterday to further heighten tensions in North Belfast around parading and it was in my view planned and orchestrated by the UVF," the Sinn Féin representative said.

"It seems that loyalists have become the spokespersons for the Loyal Orders when it comes to parading issues in North Belfast. If we are to find a sensible resolution to contentious parades this needs to change."

PUP leader Billy Hutchinson has asked the North Belfast MLA to retract his "irresponsible and false comments" that the UVF had organised the violence.

He said: "I just don't know where he got this from. I can categorically state that there was no involvement from the UVF in any way in this violence. The UVF are committed to the principles of the Good Friday agreement.

"Mr Kelly is trying to use a misguided logic that, because some of those involved in the trouble last night were perceived to be from loyalist backgrounds, that the UVF were responsible in orchestrating it. Does this same logic then apply to the July violence in Ardoyne?

"Were mainstream republicans responsible for igniting this violence from the IRA/INLA?"

Over 30 petrol bombs, hundreds of fireworks and pieces of masonry were thrown at police lines on Sunday. The PSNI responded by deploying water cannons in Denmark Street and Antrim Road but no baton rounds were fired.

The trouble lasted for up to 10 hours.

Chief Supt George Clarke said there was "no doubt" the violence was organised, but added that it was too early to say if paramilitaries were involved.

"Three hundred people on Clifton Street, masonry broken up by people using concrete saws - there's no doubt about orchestration," he said.

"But I'm not going to stand here and tell you I believe an organisation was involved - it's frankly too early to say that."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
11 Comments
michaela in belfast wrote (686 days ago):
Does it matter who started what its a disgrace and needs to STOP from BOTH ends of the community!! Just all grow up and move on, do we really want our kids growing up watching this behaviour I think not!
Matty Bay in South Down wrote (686 days ago):
Ah, its always the loyalists fault, if they're not causing a riot they're starting one.
Paul tbay in belfast wrote (686 days ago):
people on here talk about the 'moral high ground' the IRA proved over the years that it's violence that pays in this country not standing by and complaining while taking the 'moral high ground'.Why do we have to input this stupid validation code thats more difficult to read than sorting out our parades disputes!!!!!
will rhodes in scotland wrote (686 days ago):
from what I seen republicans many dressed in CELTIC football club colours broke up paveing stones to attack a orange lodge after a republican Parade . I also blame the Police how stood and watch this happen . this could have been stoped earlier if police arrested the people breaking up paveing slabs to use as missiles they shoud have been charged with criminal damage and rioting I SAW A MAN WITH AWALKING STICK INSITING THE RIOTERS HE SHOULD BE IDENTIFIED CHARGED AND HIS DISABILITY ALLOWANCE TAKEN AWAY AS HE IS OVIOUSLY NOT DISABLED .
paul in ni wrote (686 days ago):
I would like to ask gerry then who orchestrates republican violence? Is it the ira? No he would probably say the uvf did this too, typical republicans that never do anything wrong, pathetic.
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