15 July 2005

'UVF men were part of march'

Belfast Telegraph

By Brian Hutton
15 July 2005

Senior loyalist terror leaders were among a contentious Orange Order parade as it passed through the Ardoyne flashpoint on Tuesday, it was claimed last night.

SDLP MLA Alex Attwood said that two "very senior" members of the UVF were among the supporters which preceded the parade on its return leg.

Almost 90 people were injured, some seriously, when nationalist rioters attacked police after the march passed through on its way to Ligoniel as part of the annual July 12 celebrations.

"I have very reliably been informed that these people do not live in north Belfast and under no circumstances can be considered individuals that are governed by parade legislation," said Mr Attwood.

"They had no proper purpose for being on the road. Their presence was planned and it was provocative," he added.

Mr Attwood, who was at the interface during the trouble, has raised his concerns with PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton.

He alleged that "some of the most unsavoury loyalist leaders there are" were on the parade "in order to say we have reclaimed this ground".

Mr Attwood called on the Orange Order to take responsibility for who attends its marches.

"I am informing the Parades Commission of this information and urging that this becomes a key factor and influence in forthcoming Commission decisions," he said.

The Orange Order said it could not possibly know everybody that was on the march.

"Given the serious rioting that occurred in Ardoyne which put the lives of civilians and police officers at risk, we are astounded that Alex Attwood has chosen to focus his attention on peaceful supporters," said an Orange Order spokeswoman.

"He would be better spending his time helping the PSNI to identify those involved in the violence rather than taking cheap shots at the Orange Order," she added.

The PSNI said it is currently studying the events of July 12 closely.

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?