Planned riot by Portadown loyalists broadcast by text a week ago

Last night’s rioting by loyalists in Portadown lasted for some three hours, though it would appear to have been considerably longer in the planning. Just over a week ago, the Irish News reported that text messages had been circulating urging loyalists to assemble on a given weekend night “to show republicans that we will not tolerate their behaviour or presence in our area”. Bot the SDLP and the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition criticised the fact that the PSNI facilitated the crowd gathering in the town centre, thereby sending out a message- in the words of the GRRC- that Portadown town centre “is not a welcome or safe place at night for Catholics or nationalists.”