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Attacks on homes in Short Strand utterly deplorable

9 September, 2008

"Attacks on homes in Short Strand utterly deplorable" - Ó Donnghaile

Speaking after another night of attacks on homes in the Short Strand area, Sinn Féin's East Belfast Representative Niall Ó Donnghaile has condemned those responsible as 'nothing but common thugs'. It comes on the back of trouble on both sides of the interface at the weekend.

Speaking after visiting residents this morning Mr Ó Donnghaile said,

"What you have along here in Strand Walk are homes adapted for elderly and disabled members of our community, the people attacking them with ball bearings, golf balls and bricks know full well that that is the case. Numerous family homes in Saint Matthews Court were also damaged last night and over the weekend by the people carrying out these attacks.

I would call on those people engaged in this activity in both areas to stop and think about the possible consequences of this activity; someone is going to get seriously hurt.

I want to make it very clear that Sinn Féin and the community in the Short Strand oppose any form of tit for tat recreational violence at the interfaces; it neither serves nor benefits anyone. What we need to see is that universal condemnation replicated by Unionist politicians in East Belfast, as opposed to focusing singularly on incidents from the Short Strand.

Much hard work has been going on between community activists in both the Short Strand and the Lower Newtonards Road and thankfully that work has averted any major outbreaks of trouble; the people carrying out these attacks on both sides are not in any way politically motivated, they are simply out for recreational violence.

The onus is very much on the PSNI to play their part in all of this, that means implementing measured responses to what's going on, it means calling to people's homes to allocated crime numbers and it also means not switching their phones off after they have given their numbers to local residents."


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