Orange Order cannot distance themselves from on-going sectarian attacks - Alex Maskey
Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast Alex Maskey has this morning condemned the overnight attack which left a Catholic man seriously ill in hospital and said that "the Orange Order and unionist politicians cannot distance themselves from such attacks and the tensions which flow from contentious parades".
Mr Maskey said:
"I do not believe that this is dis-connected to the on-going issue of sectarian parades.
"Last night a man was viciously set upon by up to 10 others in a blatantly sectarian attack near the Short Strand area and currently lies in a serious condition in hospital. The Orange Order and unionist politicians cannot distance themselves from such attacks and the tensions which flow from contentious parades.
"It is more than coincidence that the last time there were tensions around the Springfield Road parade, loyalists entered the Short Strand and viciously assaulted a local resident. Invariably, innocent nationalists bear the brunt when tensions are raised, roadblocks are erected and threats eminate from members of the Orange Order and unionist politicians.
"Reg Empey as a representative of East Belfast seems more concerned about a contentious parade in West Belfast than to find time to address the ongoing campaign of violence on his own doorstep." ENDS