Newtownabbbey Alliance Councillor Tom Campbell has condemned the Orange Order for its failure to condemn and speak out against the weekend violence.
The Antrim Line Councillor said:
“All I have heard from the Order is condemnation of the Police. If the pretext for the violence was a dispute over an Orange Order march then the Order had a duty to make clear that it would not countenance violence in its name. This was a coordinated attempt to establish the law of the jungle in our streets. The Police had to carry out their duty and attempt to restore order on our streets. Were they to abandon us to organised thuggery and hooliganism? The Police were faced with those who used blast bombs and live ammunition. These were people who had no respect for the law. I note that prominent politicians have also been conspicuous in their silence over what happened last night.”
“Local people were very frightened. Our streets were taken over by masked men intimidating and threatening all in their path. Cars were taken by force. Main roads were closed off. In addition to the more threatening weapons used last night, stones and even golf clubs were produced to use on the Police.”
“At Whiteabbey Hospital patients, staff and relatives were terrified and some were unable to leave because of the scenes of violence outside the Hospital. Ambulances and medical staff and patients had to seek the “permission” of those controlling the mob to pass through barricades. All those holding positions of responsibility have a duty to condemn the clearly centrally orchestrated violence and intimidation. The Police tactics used last night were an appropriate response to the level of violence and unrest.”