Residents living in the Tigers Bay area of north Belfast held a protest meeting last night to highlight what they called “recent republican attacks” on their community.
The Tigers Bay and Mountcollyer Residents Association gathered at Edlingham Street following claims of repeated incidents.
In a statement issued yesterday, the group said: “On 30 April 2014, residents in Tigers Bay came under sporadic and sustained attack by republicans from the neighbouring Newlodge and Newington areas.
“A gang of up to 50 armed republican youths wielding hammers, knives and sticks entered the Tigers Bay area via various flashpoints and proceeded to attack residents and property.”
However, the PSNI has said it did not receive any reports of the incident as described, but had responded to reports of youths gathering to watch a pre-arranged fight between two boys.
A spokesman said that although there were a number of youths present at various locations, “no criminal activity was detected” and police continued to patrol the area.
Inspector Roy Watton, York Road Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We have reason to believe that the youths which gathered in the Duncairn and Nelson Street areas were there to watch a fight between two boys which had been pre-arranged on social media sites.
“There are concerns that these young people are not aware of the serious consequences of engaging in such behaviour and coming under the notice of police and in addition the risk that they take in terms of the physical harm to themselves and others.”