Sinn Féin East Belfast Representative Cllr. Niall O’Donnghaile has reacted angrily after homes in Strand Walk have this evening come under petrol bomb attack from unionist crowds on the Newtownards Road. The PSNI instead of dealing with the crowd attacking Short Strand moved against local residents, community leaders and Cllr. Ó Donnghaile.
Cllr Ó Donnghaile said:
“This evening homes on Strand Walk came under petrol bomb attack from a unionist crowd on the Newtownards Road. A Special Needs group were forced to flee from St. Matthews Parochial Hall. This was a blatant, well planned and organised sectarian attack on this community from those gathered on the Newtownards Road. It has nothing at all to do with flags or identity. It is an attempt by unionists to intimidate a small catholic community.
“The PSNI instead of dealing with the crowd attacking the homes on Strand Walk instead moved against myself and other community leaders trying to maintain calm within the Short Strand and forced us down Bryson Street using considerable force. While this was happening petrol bombs continued to be thrown from the Newtownards Road.
“It is clear that there are some within unionism who feel that the way out of the current mess they have gotten themselves into is to attack catholic communities along interfaces. Tonight’s attack has comes after the stone throwing on Saturday and wholesale intimidation of this community over the past five weeks. It is unacceptable and we need to hear unequivocal condemnation from local unionist leaders, not the sort of excuses for violence we have had to listen to in recent weeks.”