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Maskey condemns East Belfast Violence

21 June, 2011 - by Alex Maskey

Sinn Féin South Belfast MLA, Alex Maskey commenting on last night’s disturbances in East Belfast said:

"For some weeks now there have been sporadic instances of anti-social stone throwing across the interface in this area. Local community representatives and politicians have been working hard – with some success - to deal with it. It is important that this good work continues.

"However what happened last night was not anti-social behaviour or a sectarian riot. What happened was a well-planned and orchestrated attack on the Catholic community in the Short Strand by the UVF.

"The activities of the UVF in East Belfast have been giving people cause for concern for some time. These have been well documented in the media by a variety of commentators. There has been a marked increase in UVF flag flying, the painting of new paramilitary murals and significant agitation around Loyal Order parades. This has caused deep unease within both communities in East Belfast.

"Last night this manifested itself with a premeditated violent attack by over 100 masked UVF men on the community of Short Strand.

"It is my clear view that the PSNI could and should have responded better. And I think with the power of hindsight senior officers may well agree with this view.

"Let us act now to make sure yesterday’s UVF actions are not allowed to set the agenda for the summer months in the city of Belfast."

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