PSNI slam loyalists for sheltered housing damage

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Loyalist rioters threw missiles at an older person’s home during a third night of violence in Belfast, police said.

They wrecked the entrance of sheltered housing on the Woodvale Road and hurled bottles and golf balls directly at the premises instead of police because their aim was so bad, according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Traffic lights were destroyed, burning rubbish piled in the middle of the road and footpaths broke up outside family homes.

A senior officer posted on social media: “Unfortunately this is a late one as myself and some of my team have spent the last hour trying to clean up bits of the Woodvale area after loyalist young people decided to have a riot, throw stones, bottles and petrol bombs at ourselves, which had absolutely no effect, but they also managed to wreck their own community by destroying traffic lights, piling burning rubbish in the middle of roads, breaking up footpaths outside family homes and also trashing the entrance of a local older people’s home.

“They even managed to throw some bottles and golf balls directly at an older people’s fold set of houses as their aim was so off. It was appalling.

“Footage was gained of a lot of the incidents and an extensive investigation will follow.”

Violence first flared on Monday night after police blocked a contentious parade past Ardoyne in North Belfast and riots broke out.

The trouble followed demonstrations marking the Twelfth of July, the highlight of the Orange Order’s parading calendar. Water cannon vehicles were deployed and non-lethal rounds fired by police.

Community leaders on all sides have appealed for calm.

Chief inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said police were in the area of Woodvale around 11.30pm last night when a crowd of youths gathered at the junction of Woodvale Road and Ballygomartin Road.

“A fire was lit and a traffic light was extensively damaged. Police were then attacked with bottles, as many as 30 petrol bombs, bricks and golf balls, some of which struck a nearby residential home for elderly people.

“Police pushed the crowd back on a number of occasions. The area was reported quiet around 2am.

“While no arrests took place at the scene, CCTV footage was taken for evidential purposes and police are working to try to identify anyone involved.

“Police would appeal for anyone with influence locally to ensure young people are not involved in this type of behaviour, which causes fear among the more vulnerable members of the community.”