North of Eire is going to Erupt into Riots on a Nightly Basis; Brexit is Starting to Show a Gap between the old Foes?

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Eight PSNI officers injured as loyalist rioting erupts in Belfast over Brexit tensions

  16 hrs ago

3rd April 2021


Loyalist rioting erupted in Belfast on Friday night as tensions over the post-Brexit position of Northern Ireland flare up, leaving eight PSNI officers injured.© Provided by Extra.ie

The disturbance occurred in the Sandy Row area of south Belfast, as large groups consisting principally of younger people targeted police personnel.

Seven people were arrested during the rioting, which saw police officers having fireworks, bricks and bottles hurled at them.a group of people walking down the street: Loyalist rioting erupted in Belfast on Friday night as tensions over the post-Brexit position of Northern Ireland flare up, leaving eight PSNI officers injured. Pic: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images© Provided by Extra.ie Loyalist rioting erupted in Belfast on Friday night as tensions over the post-Brexit position of Northern Ireland flare up, leaving eight PSNI officers injured. Pic: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Friday’s rioting followed four days of unrest in the Waterside, a largely unionist area in Derry. Community leaders have claimed that the disturbances have been triggered by political factors.

Tensions have been growing within the loyalist communities since December 31, when the Brexit Transition Period came to an end and the Northern Ireland Protocol came into effect.

The protocol, which has necessitated customs checks on goods arriving in Northern Ireland from the UK, and has seen the importation of some products prohibited, has been seen as a betrayal by loyalist communities, who feel unfairly distinguished and distanced from mainland UK citizens.The disturbance occurred in the Sandy Row area of south Belfast, as large groups consisting principally of younger people targeted police personnel. Pic: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images© Provided by Extra.ie The disturbance occurred in the Sandy Row area of south Belfast, as large groups consisting principally of younger people targeted police personnel. Pic: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

In addition, it has been claimed that such underlying tensions were exacerbated following the decision made by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in Northern Ireland not to press charges against 24 Sinn Féin politicians, including Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, for their attendance at the funeral of former Republican Bobby Storey last year despite public health restrictions.

In the wake of the frightening incident that took place on Friday, a statement issued by Belfast District Commander Chief Superintendent Simon Walls was published on the PSNI Twitter account.

The statement read: ‘Eight officers have so far been injured after being subjected to a sustained attack by rioters who have thrown a number of objects at police, including heavy masonry, metal rods, fireworks and manhole covers. https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1378240431906037761&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fextra.ie%2F2021%2F04%2F03%2Fnews%2Firish-news%2Floyalist-rioting-belfast-brexit-tensions&theme=light&widgetsVersion=e1ffbdb%3A1614796141937&width=550px

‘Their injuries include burns, head and leg injuries. Seven people have been arrested at the scene.’

The statement continued: ‘I am appealing to all those involved to stop this appalling behaviour immediately.

Police are trying to protect those living in the Shaftesbury Square, Donegall Road and Sandy Row areas and it is completely unacceptable that my officers are coming under sustained attack.a person wearing a costume: In the wake of the frightening incident that took place on Friday, a statement issued by Belfast District Commander Chief Superintendent Simon Walls was published on the PSNI Twitter account. Pic: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images© Provided by Extra.ie In the wake of the frightening incident that took place on Friday, a statement issued by Belfast District Commander Chief Superintendent Simon Walls was published on the PSNI Twitter account. Pic: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

‘I would encourage anyone who has influence to use it now and stop the rioting before anyone else is injured, or worse.

Local communities do not want to be dragged back to the past. They deserve to live in safe and peaceful areas, free from rioting, violence and wanton destruction of their communities.’

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