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Loyalists accused of increasing tensions in South Belfast

30 June, 2005

Sinn Féin South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey has accused Loyalists of attempting to raise tensions in South Belfast after flags were put up in the mixed Finaghy Crossroads area and a gang of 20-25 men with pickaxe handles gathered in the Ormeau Bridge area and attempted to enter the Lower Ormeau Road area. Mr Maskey called on Unionist and community leaders to intervene to try and reduce tensions in the area.

Mr Maskey said:

"Many of theses areas throughout South Belfast are now shared spaces. Loyalist erecting flags in the area are clearly trying increase tensions.

"I am also concerned about the dangerous potential of a gang of 20-25 men gathered on the Ormeau Bridge armed with pickaxe handles who appear intent on coming into the nationalist Lower Ormeau Road area.

"This evening there are many people in the in South Belfast who are very concerned and I would urge nationalists to be extremely vigilant.

"Unionist and community leaders need to show leadership and intervene to try and reduce tensions throughout South Belfast." ENDS

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