Call for calm after North riots
Countless routes have been blocked during the loyalist campaign - in one case north of Belfast a pensioner trying to visit his dying wife in hospital was turned back. “If your wife was dying what would you be doing? Have a bit of sense. Protestants, you don’t know the meaning of the word, take yourselves home, show a bit of respect for people.” hey responded by jeering “cheerio” in a recording made by the BBC.
In west Belfast, a GP was twice prevented from attending a home visit with a patient terminally ill with cancer. Pat Kerr has cancer but had to wait while his GP tried to get through a road block in West Belfast last night for a home visit. His daughter Nicky expressed disbelief. "It’s already a very stressful situation without worrying if we can get him to the hospital or to medical attention,” she said. “To me, the most important thing is someone’s health, rather than anything else that’s going on.”
SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt said: “These are depraved acts which immediately dismiss any claim on a protest being peaceful."
Businesses in Belfast’s city centre have struggled to cope, with many reporting lost trade, and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warned some investors may think again.
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said there should be a cross-community response. “But there can be no going back. The tiny minorities who want to cling to the past must be rejected. Sectarianism must be tackled and ended.”
Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt has co-chaired a unionist forum designed to address grievances. “Street violence from so-called unionists, no matter what age, advances nothing but the cause of Irish nationalism. It is high time those involved in rioting realised they are destroying the very cause the hope to promote.”