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Sinn Féin condemn South Belfast violence

18 March, 2009 - by Alex Maskey

Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast Alex Maskey has condemned those responsible for yesterday’s violence in the Holyland area of the city.

Sinn Féin representative for Balmoral and south Belfast DPP member Vincent Parker also blasted those responsible for the havoc.

Speaking this morning Mr Parker said,

“Firstly I condemn those responsible for yesterday’s violence, they have caused untold trauma to the people who live peacefully in the area everyday and that includes students as well as long term residents.

There is an onus on the PSNI to ensure that they respond in a proportionate and responsible way.

What we also need to realise is that the many private landlords in this area have a duty of care to the other residents of the Holyland; they must ensure that those people renting their properties are responsible for their actions; the Universities must also act if it discovered that any of their students were involved in this trouble.

I particularly want to put focus on the many bars and licensed premises which must ensure that they act responsibly in relation to all of this. Many bars were providing cheap drink from very early in the day; many also had offers in store, this only goes to inflame the situation.

We need a joint up approach from the City Council, the DSD, the DOE, community groups as well as the PSNI; this is something that Sinn Féin has called for on numerous occasions. Yesterday’s trouble must act as a catalyst to ensure that the overwhelming majority of citizens in the Holyland can live safely in peace. The actions of a small number were in stark contrast to the thousands of people taking part in yesterday’s celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day in the City Centre.

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