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Ulster Troubles – Bad Reminder

  • July 14th, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

belfast-09-flashpoints.jpgNorthern Ireland endured a nasty aftertaste of its past on Monday (13.7.09), reverting to riots over Battle-of-the-Boyne Day marches.

A dozen police were hurt trying to keep separate Protestant Orange-men and women, parading through city streets, and protestors objecting to them going through Catholic areas.

Cars were set on fire, or hijacked to be pushed against police forming a cordon along the route of march.

They deployed a water cannon and fired rubber bullets against a hail of rocks and  bottles.

Molotov cocktails were thrown and a shot was fired at police at one point.

The affray contradicted the progress being made towards peaceful settlement of the sectarian divisions of the past, (see EUAustralia, “Belfast works on a good look for the future”, 15.5.07).

The nationalist Sinn Fein party blamed splinter groups on its own side, saying the “Real IRA” or similar bands had gone into the Ardoyne area of Belfast from outside, to start the trouble.

The marching, to commemorate a major Protestant and English victory of the 17th Century, provoked ugly scenes in at least four other towns in Northern Ireland including Londonderry.

The Assistant Chief Constable of Northern Ireland police,  Alistair Finlay, blamed it on a backward-looking minority.

“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”, he said.

Picture: Flashpoints