Short Strand attacked during 15th illegal loyalist march - Ó Donnghaile
Sinn Féin Councillor for the Short Strand Niall Ó Donnghailehas stated that trouble broke out in East Belfast after masked loyalists led an illegal march past the Short Strand and attacked nationalists homes.
Speaking today Cllr Ó Donnghaile said:
“Today saw the 15th illegal march past the Short Strand. It is one of hundreds of illegal protests since December the 3rd.
“This march, as the evidence clearly shows, was lead over the Albert Bridge before reaching the Short Strand, by masked men chanting sectarian slogans.
“On reaching the Short Strand homes were attacked. Ten family homes have been damaged and residents of the Short Strand intimidated. People do not come to “peaceful protests” armed with bricks, bottles, golf balls and fireworks.
“The fact that violence broke out is hardly surprising. Before Christmas Sinn Féin stated our concerns that the organisers of these protests have consciously moved them closer to interface areas.
“The job of community and political representatives is made ever more difficult as these illegal protests are allowed to continue and stoke tensions.
“I am appealing for people not to be drawn into confrontation with the loyalist protestors.
“Unionist leaders need to bring an end to these protests immediately before someone is seriously injured or killed. They cannot address these issues on their own. What is required is all party talks to find a solution.
"Speaking in one sided forums did not stop today's attack on the Short Strand or Fridays rioting in Rathcoole or Carrickfergus.”