Kelly comments on Ardoyne situation
Commenting on the aftermath of the Orange Order parade being forced through Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales last night, Sinn Féin assembly member for the area Gerry Kelly said:
“The principle reason why tensions are raised here each summer is entirely down to the continuing failure of the Orange Order to sit down and enter dialogue with their neighbours. Instead they arrogantly insist on marching through communities where they are not wanted.
“The residents of Ardoyne held a dignified and peaceful protest against the unnecessary and unwanted Orange parade. There were others who decided to apply for an additional parade to enter the Crumlin Road at the same time as the Orange parade was scheduled to pass. This provided a focus for mainly young people from outside Ardoyne to travel to this area yesterday. A small number decided to engage in rioting.
“Local people are angry at the Orange Parade being forced through this community and are also angry at the fact that long after the parade had passed cars were being hijacked and damage done to people’s homes in this area.
“I have already raised with the PSNI this morning the premature use of water cannon. A small number of people were involved in the rioting. We are absolutely opposed to the use of plastic bullets in riot situations and have made this clear on many occasions. These are lethal weapons.
“It is now important that the people who live here in Ardoyne are able to get this district cleaned up and returned to normality. What we don’t need is a repeat of last night’s incidents going forward.”