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Bishop condemns Loyalist rioters

16 August 2013


Near the surface:  Loyalist protestors hold pictures of IRA Victims in Castlederg, County Tyrone during the parade by IRA supporters, on Sunday

Near the surface:  Loyalist protestors hold pictures of IRA Victims in Castlederg, County Tyro...

THE Bishop of Down and Dromore, the Rt Revd Harold Miller, has condemned the Loyalist rioting which resulted in 56 police officers being injured on Friday night in Belfast.

The riots erupted when Loyalist protesters tried to disperse a nationalist march, and attacked both marchers and police on Royal Avenue, in the city centre.

The Chief Constable of the Police Service in Northern Ireland (PSNI), Matt Baggott, said that he would expect severe custodial sentences for those involved.

Bishop Miller said: "I totally condemn the violence which took place in Belfast. There is no basis on which it can be justified. All are agreed on the right to peaceful protest, but our community now needs a period of restraint while we redouble our efforts to build a shared future.

"We must not create any more situations which will result in predictable conflict. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of the PSNI who find themselves dealing with these situations, and particularly with those who have been injured."

In Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, a Republican commemoration of two IRA terrorists who died when the bomb they were carrying detonated prematurely, passed off peacefully on Sunday, despite tensions.

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