Republican dissidents try to kill police officers in Ardoyne…

And, just to complicate matters (and in case you had the impression that it was only the Orange bringing mayhem to the streets of north Belfast)…

With tensions building ahead of the most controversial parade of the Orange Order marching season, due to go through Ardoyne in north Belfast on Friday, republican dissidents have tried to kill police officers in a bomb attack in the area.

It has emerged that the republicans attempted to lure a police patrol into Ardoyne on Tuesday night after news of shots being fired in the area were reported.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed on Wednesday that they later found a viable bomb in Alliance Avenue which they said was aimed at their officers.

There have been several bids to murder police officers in the north Belfast republican district, which will be the focal point of protests against an Orange Order parade passing by on Friday – the most important day in the Ulster loyalist calendar.

Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly remarked:

“The people responsible need to come forward and give an explanation for their actions, there is no strategy or logic for what they are doing.

“Sinn Féin have set out a road map to achieve a united Ireland. The groups responsible for these sporadic attacks are without mandate or vision and represent no one. They have yet to produce any rationale why activities such as this continue.”

[Not sure they’re listening any more Gerry – Ed] Still, with the Orange out of the way, it’s back to ‘big boys games’ for some…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty