Three arrested after ‘hate crime’ at Twaddell camp

Posters and flags torn down at Twaddell protest camp. Pic from UPRG Twitter.
Posters and flags torn down at Twaddell protest camp. Pic from UPRG Twitter.

Three people, including a woman, were arrested on Tuesday morning as police investigate a ‘hate crime’ at Twaddell Avenue protest camp.

A number of flags and banners were damaged in the area just after 7.30am and three people are believed to have made off towards the Brompton Park area shortly afterwards.

Police said they had arrested two men aged 22 and 21, and a 20 year old woman.

UPRG spokesman Gerald Solinas said between £500 and £1,000 worth of damage has been caused to the camp.

Greater Shankill DUP Councillor Brian Kingston condemned the attack as sectarian, saying the culprits had come across from Ardoyne.

“They shouted sectarian abuse and threatened two young men on duty at the camp saying they would burn them out,” said Mr Kingston.

“After leaving the scene, the same individuals returned to Ardoyne shop fronts at around 9am where they again shouted sectarian abuse. The PSNI quickly responded to arrive on the scene and the three individuals were arrested.

“Whilst it is suspected that these individuals may have been under the influence of drink or drugs, the timing of this attack, coming the day after the first local parade of the year down the Crumlin Road, will be viewed as deliberate and as highly provocative.

“This sectarian attack must be condemned from across the political spectrum.”

The attack is not the first at the camp, Mr Kingston said, and he accused republicans of attempting to raise tensions and damage the prospects of a resolution on the parades issue.

“Political and community leaders in Ardoyne must take responsibility for such attacks, built on years of opposition to the loyal orders, and do all within their power to bring them to an end,” he said.

“The PSNI are to be commended for their prompt response in making these arrests. I appeal for calm and for any relevant information relating to this and previous attacks to be pass on the police without delay.”