McAllister condemns ongoing North Belfast violence

Alliance North Belfast Councillor Nuala McAllister has condemned today’s violence in North Belfast, which erupted after an anti-internment parade was preventing from going into the city centre.

The march was blocked at the Oldpark Road after organisers the Anti-Internment League indicated they would ignore a Parades Commission ruling it should leave the city centre no later than 1.30pm. Although the parade itself dispersed peacefully, petrol bombs and bricks have been thrown at police and water cannon is being used to control crowds in the area.

Councillor McAllister said there could be no excuse or justification for the violence.

“While I was pleased the parade itself dispersed without trouble, the potential was always there due to the organisers ignoring the Parades Commission’s ruling and refusing to engage with the PSNI on the issue. To pay no attention to the relevant authorities around such a crucial matter shows a lack of respect for the rule of law.

“I wish to pay tribute to the police officers who have bravely stood their ground trying to contain a volatile situation today. Once again this summer we have witnessed scenes of violence from Northern Ireland which will be broadcast across the world and do damage to our global reputation.

“I appeal for an immediate end to the ongoing violence in the area. Whenever scenes like this occur, we all suffer in the long-run.”

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