UK news Northern Ireland riots: Paramilitaries behind loyalist disturbances ‘the enemies of peace’, says Michelle O'Neill last news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has branded loyalist paramilitaries orchestrating much of the past week’s violence as “enemies of peace”.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! "Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has branded loyalist paramilitaries orchestrating much of the past week’s violence as “enemies of peace”. Several hundred people were involved in clashes at the Lanark Way peace line in west Belfast on Wednesday.Unrest in Belfast, Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus, Ballymena and Londonderry has injured 55 officers in recent days.The rioting is reportedly driven by anger over the Northern Ireland Protocol and the Bobby Storey funeral controversy.As the fallout continued yesterday, MLAs condemned loyalist terrorists for their role in the violence as the Assembly was recalled, while Secretary of State Brandon Lewis met with political parties to discuss the worrying developments.Sinn Fein’s vice-president Mrs O’Neill described the disturbances in west Belfast as “utterly deplorable” and called on politicians to help restore calm. “There is room for everyone in the political process, but there is no room in society whatsoever for those who are armed and illegal and who should disband,” she said.Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Evening Extra, Mr Lewis denied he went “missing” as trouble broke out on the streets over the last week, and insisted he had been in contact with political leaders and the PSNI.He said there were a “huge range” of issues that have contributed to the disorder.However, Mr Lewis said “nothing explains” any reason for violence when asked if the UK Government contributed to the recent events through the implementation of the Irish Sea border.“There have been issues over the course of this year — the PSNI have cracked down on criminal behaviour and there’s been real issues for people with the way the protocol has worked in practice, not least of people’s sense of identity,” he said.“None of these things are an excuse for, or justification for, or a reason for violence.”During yesterday’s Assembly debate Justice Minister Naomi Long said it was a “mercy” that no one had lost their life and called on unionist leaders to show leadership.“Community confidence in policing is not ours to give or take away, neither is it the job of the police alone to build it. Each of us has a duty to build that confidence (through) our actions, our words and our active support for and engagement with police,” she said.
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. She added when politics failed, unrest filled the vacuum.“No brick, no bottle, no petrol bomb thrown has achieved, or can ever achieve, anything but destruction, harm and fear,” Mrs Foster said.“We cannot allow a new generation of young people to fall victim to that path or be preyed upon by some who prefer the shadows to the light.”Mrs O’Neill said those taking part in the disturbances were influenced by loyalist terrorists and criminal elements.Asking MLAs and MPs to reflect on their words, SDLP deputy leader Nichola Mallon said the attacks on police officers were a “damning indictment” of political leaders.UUP leader Steve Aiken said the violence damaged Northern Ireland’s image and was a potential Covid risk.Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly said calling for the Chief Constable to resign solved nothing.Criminal gangs have orchestrated the violence for “their own ends”, he added.As the debate concluded, MLAs unanimously agreed to pass a motion calling for an end to the unrest.Prior to the debate, Mrs Foster backtracked on her vow not to meet with PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne after calling for his resignation.Meanwhile, bus drivers gathered in the grounds of Belfast City Hall yesterday in an act of solidarity for their colleague whose vehicle was hijacked and set alight during Wednesday’s disturbances.Translink Group chief executive Chris Conway said the company will ensure that its drivers can deliver essential bus services safely.Davy Thompson and Peter Maklin, on behalf of trade unions Unite and GMB, added that it had been agreed with Translink to review bus schedules over the coming days."
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