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.