SINN Fein’s Alex Maskey has been strongly criticised for saying he would have thrown stones if he lived in an area caught up in the latest violence at interface areas in Belfast.
The south Belfast MLA first made the comments on UTV on Monday night, and followed up with interviews on Tuesday saying he would “make no apologies for defending my home”.
Speaking after further violence in the Short Strand area of Belfast, Mr Maskey said: “If my home was coming under attack I would defend my home. You tell me any person who will not defend their home. “
Various politicians condemned Mr Maskey’s words, including Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster who said violence should not be met with violence.
Also speaking on the BBC’s Stephen Nolan show on Tuesday morning was a female caller from east Belfast who said she was terrified when her home was attacked during violence at the weekend. The woman said five children under the age of six were in the house and one of them asked why people were throwing bricks and bottles at their home.
The woman said: “I have lost all hope in the politicians in this country. I don’t see a peaceful future. I sat last night and cried because I could do absolutely nothing, I felt helpless. When is the Unionist Forum going to speak to residents whose homes are under attack?”