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PSNI unwilling to face down loyalist bully boys

18 April, 2014 - by Alex Maskey


Two South Belfast Sinn Féin representatives are meeting senior police officers today about their failure to tackle a loyalist gang erecting paramilitary flags in a shared community on the Ormeau Road.

Alex Maskey MLA and Councillor Deirdre Hargey are meeting the PSNI at 2.30pm in Belfast City Hall to raise an incident involving a loyalist gang in the area last night.

 Alex Maskey said that local residents had felt intimidated by the loyalists, some of whom had clearly been drinking.

 “A gang of around 20-30 loyalists arrived on the Ormeau Road and took down legal Sinn Féin election posters and began erecting flags, including UDA flags, illegally on lamp posts,” said Alex Maskey.

 “Some of this gang clearly had been drinking alcohol and local residents said they felt very intimidated by their actions.

 “The PSNI were on the scene but despite the gang committing a criminal offence and acting aggressively the PSNI failed to take any action.”

 Councillor Hargey said that local people felt very ‘dispirited’ by the failure of the police to respond to bully boys.

 “There is real anger and frustration in the local community this morning,” said Deirde Hargey.

 “Local people have no faith in the PSNI’s willingness to deal with loyalist mobs breaking the law and increasing tensions in what is a shared community.

 “This type of aggressive sectarianism sets community relations back 20 years.

 “We are meeting senior police officers today to convey the community’s frustration and anger at the police’s refusal to act and to demand they stand up to the bully boys.”

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