Dickson condemns Ardoyne rioting

Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stewart Dickson MLA, has condemned rioting in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast.

Violence broke out after three lodges marched past the area as part of their annual parade route.

Despite concerns in recent days, the Orange Order upheld the ruling of the parades commission and used buses to transport members across part of the route, ensuring they had left the Ardoyne area by 4pm.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “The scenes of rioting which unfolded in North Belfast are an absolute disgrace.

“There is no excuse for any kind of violence, which only puts the safety of all residents at risk. We must move forward. Concern for the community as a whole must lead to continued discussion in order to find a resolution to key issues of dispute.

“It is unacceptable that police resources have again been stretched and that police officers have been injured. The people behind these disturbances must be brought to justice and dealt with by the courts. If you are caught you will receive a criminal record that will be with you the rest of your life. I would urge that full support and co-operation be given to the police during this challenging time.

“In the long-term it will be Northern Ireland as a whole that will suffer the consequences of the actions of a few. The eyes of the world are seeing the worst advert for our society, at a time when we should be doing all we can to attract outside investment.

“Alliance is still the only party with real ideas for delivering a shared future. Tonight’s evidence points towards the fact that OFMDFM’s shared future aims are not achieving the required results. It is time for a hard hitting debate on Northern Ireland’s shared future to take place.”


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