Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast Carál Ní Chuilín has stated that Dissident Republicans have shown absolute disregard for the safety and wellbeing of the people of Ardoyne. Speaking after an explosive device was found in Highbury Gardens in Ardoyne today Ms Ní Chuilín said:
“Over the past nights dissident republicans have used anti-social elements made up of groups of young people as cover for attacks in Ardoyne, the New Lodge and Broadway. This is despite appeals from local residents for no violence.
“The rioting has caused damage, distress and disruption to these communities. We have seen residents held hostage as their cars are taken and burnt, their garden walls pulled apart for bricks and major disruption to their free movement in and out of their own community.
“The latest incident is the abandoning of an explosive device in Highbury Gardens in Ardoyne. This is the summer holidays, many children are off school and could have found this device. The repercussions do not bear thinking about.
“Last year it was the dissidents who abandoned guns in Ardoyne which were found by local children.
“There is an issue certainly of the Orange Order marching through nationalist areas of Ardoyne, Moutainview and the Dales but can those who represent these dissident groups tell me if this is worth the destruction of Ardoyne and the endangering of its residents?
“The residents are certainly opposed to these marches but they are informing me that they are equally opposed to these actions.”