There has been a worrying increase in the number of reprisal attacks in Protestant areas as the warm summer continues to fuel sectarian clashes at Belfast’s interfaces.
One resident of the Oldpark area in north Belfast said he witnessed a number of people shouting abuse and threats in the area on Monday evening, while the DUP said missiles had been thrown at some Protestant homes.
DUP North Belfast representative William Humphrey said it had been “a frightening and intimidating experience” for Protestant residents.
Local Sinn Fein representative Danny Lavery condemned any sectarian acts in the area, which he said have happened in both communities.
“From the Eleventh night and the Twelfth night, there has been six cars burnt out and people throwing petrol bombs,” he said. “I am calling on both sides to stop doing it.”
In west Belfast, tensions have increased at a sectarian interface in west Belfast after a gang of 100 youths went on the rampage after being refused entry to a house party.
The crowd descended on the Brooke area -- adjacent to the loyalist Suffolk estate -- after an invite to a house party went ‘viral’ on the internet. It is believed they were turned away from the party at around 9.30pm last Friday.
Half an hour later cars and homes were attacked in the Ringford Park area near the interface between Suffolk Road and Black’s Road. The window of a house was smashed and four vehicles were damaged.
Protestant residents of the Suffolk enclave said the attack was unprovoked, and sectarian in nature.
Sinn Fein councillor Matt Garrett said: “There are people working hard at the Blacks Road/Lenadoon/ Suffolk interface to make sure that residents can get on with their lives free from this type of behaviour.
“It is not representative of the people that live in the area and I would say a lot of those involved are from outside the area.”
After visiting the Suffolk area on Saturday and yesterday, DUP Councillor Ruth Patterson said: “There are people who just do not want Protestants in Suffolk, but this is a great community, everybody knows that, and they are here to stay. They just want to live in peace.”
However, Councillor Patterson later became embroiled in her own controversy when she appeared to support a massacre of republicans and Sinn Fein representatives at a republican commemoration in County Tyrone.