Dickson appeals for calm over parade violence

Alliance Justice spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has condemned an outbreak of trouble in the Woodvale area of Belfast that has saw police attacked by stones, bricks, bottles and other missiles.

The violence flared following today’s Twelfth of July celebrations, when marchers approached the barrier to prevent them parading along the flashpoint interface.

Mr Dickson said Northern Ireland as a whole would suffer in the long-run.

“I am disappointed and disgusted by the scenes we have all witnessed tonight, which will be the image of Northern Ireland that many people around the world will now see. I would appeal for an immediate end to the violence and call everyone involved to heed the words of the Orange Order and stand down.

“Last weekend the Tall Ships attracted thousands of visitors to Belfast, projecting a positive image of a city open and welcoming to everyone. So it is even more disheartening to see those fantastic memories gone, to be replaced by scenes we hoped had been left behind.

“Following last year’s calm event, I am absolutely appalled at what has unfolded tonight. Clearly the use of bolts and other objects as missiles show there was premeditated intent to cause trouble. I would call on everyone with influence at a political or community level to work together to restore peace to our streets.”

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