A mob attack on a north Belfast bar on Saturday afternoon has been condemned by Westminster DUP candidate Nigel Dodds.
In a statement Mr Dodds condemned the attack at the Hedgehog and Bucket bar on the Oldpark Road “by a mob of around 40 men” on April 18 around 5.40pm.
The incident happened at the premises following the Cliftonville v Linfield football match.
Mr Dodds said: “By all accounts this was a vile and totally unprovoked sectarian attack on a Protestant bar by a vicious mob.
“This occurred less than an hour after this afternoon’s match between Cliftonville and Linfield at Solitude, less than a mile away. Only by sheer chance was no-one seriously injured in this attack during which bottles and glasses were thrown and people were attacked.
“The ‘Hedgehog and Bucket’ is a quiet bar attracting an older clientele, many of whom were very upset by this sudden and unprovoked attack.
“The presence of a local football team in the bar at that time prevented much more serious damage from occurring.”
Mr Dodds added that he understood the cars belonging to some local residents were damaged.
“I understand that local residents, some of whose cars were damaged, came out of their houses and assisted the bar patrons to remove this mob from the area,” he said. “Given the substantial police presence deployed for these matches it is astonishing that the PSNI were unable to intervene to prevent this substantial attack from occurring. I will be seeking an early meeting with senior PSNI officers to ask serious questions about this incident and their operation on the day.”
Appealing for calm after the incident Mr Dodds appealed for anyone with information about the incident to contact the PSNI.
A PSNI spokesman said they would make a statement on the incident later today.