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Weekend Attacks and Shootings Significantly Raise North Belfast Tensions

11 July, 2005

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Belfast Gerry Kelly has said that weekend attacks by loyalists on a Catholic home on the Crumlin Road followed by a series of shootings which has left one man dead and another critically
injured has heightened significantly tensions in the area in advance of tonight's 11th night bonfires and tomorrows 12th parades.

Mr Kelly said:

" The decision of the Parades Commission to force the 12th parade through three catholic areas twice on Tuesday was the wrong decision. The fact that on the later parade hundreds of loyalists many connected to the gangs involved in recent attacks on catholic homes and internal  feuding over the weekend will accompany the parade is making the situation even worse.

" Late last week the Ardoyne Dialogue Group proposed a compromise for the 12th parade which would see the morning parade being facilitated and the evening leg re-routed. This would have relieved tensions and provided the
space for meaningful dialogue to commence over future parades. Given the events of the weekend when loyalists attempted to murder a Catholic family on the Crumlin Road and the significant raising of tension in North Belfast with last nights shootings this is the only sensible option now open to the Parades Commission and they should review the parade decision.

" History teaches us that feuds between loyalist gangs tend to end with attacks on Catholics. Given this reality and the events of the weekend it is untenable for the Parades Commission to force this parade and its supporters through Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales on tomorrow." ENDS

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