Irish Republican News · July 19, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Stormont buries its head after riots

The Six-County administration at Stormont has been criticised for adopting a ‘securocrat’ response to the marching season.

Trade union leader Peter Bunting had been among those who called for political leadership from Stormont, particularly from the First Minister Peter Robinson of the DUP and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein.

The authorities, particularly the PSNI, have concentrated their efforts on the arrest of nationalist youths who are then closely interrogated about republican activity in their area.

“They [Robinson and McGuinness] need to get out in the front line and show their faces and give leadership at this time,” Mr Bunting said. “Everyone knew this was coming. They would have known this was coming and we need the first and deputy first ministers to tell us what they plan to do.”

Sinn Fein representatives have presented differing views on the situation.

Local Assembly member Gerry Kelly said the Orange Order had displayed an arrogance for continuing to march through places where it is not wanted and blamed the PSNI for using water cannon.

However, Martin McGuinness blamed the nationalist rioters for the trouble and said the people of Ardoyne had not wanted violence in their community.

“It is disappointing that a small number of people chose to ignore their demand and instead went about attacking the police and damaging the local community,” he said.

Some of those arrested, and held without bail, were children as young as 13 years of age.

One 46-year-old man who placed an oil drum over his head, for protection from PSNI plastic bullets, was also arrested.

Meanwhile, a photographer who was hit by a plastic bullet while covering the rioting in north Belfast on Tuesday is also to make a complaint to the Police Ombudsman.

Tony Murray said he is to contact his lawyer to make a complaint about the “reckless” actions of PSNI who fired in his direction despite him being with a visible media pack.

“I can’t understand what the policeman was aiming at as there were no rioters in front or behind us at the time.”

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© 2011 Irish Republican News