From the various reports there appear to have been a number of police officers injured and a number of arrests today. Perhaps the most significant incident was in Armagh where an explosion was reported. By comparison, as well as skirmishes today, Londonderry saw a “sophisticated hoax” on Craigavon Bridge at the weekend. At the most visible disturbance today, in Ardoyne, local MLA, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly, blamed “a small number of dissident republicans from outside Ardoyne” for the trouble, although he seems to be displaying some memory loss – “Let us think back, the last time that anyone used a rifle or any weapon during a riot here was the early seventies, because the reaction to it is someone will end up dead.” Perhaps blast bombs don’t count? Meanwhile, we have a comment from those tasked with responsibility for public order – from the BBC report
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay said it was disappointing “isolated outbreaks of violence had marred the day for all communities”. “Right across Northern Ireland there were hundreds of parades that passed off peacefully,” he said.
“However, it is very disappointing that there were a minority of people, in north Belfast, Derry, Armagh, Rasharkin and other parts of Northern Ireland who showed total disregard for local communities. “They displayed the worst possible face of Northern Ireland – a face of bigotry, sectarianism and intolerance that is not representative of the vast majority of people who have moved on and embraced a peaceful future.”
Adds An arrest and more violence in Ardoyne on Tuesday night.