PSNI warning on Orange march
The PSNI has warned that somebody “will be killed” in the lead up to the massive Belfast Orange Order parade at the end of the month if current sectarian tensions are not defused.
Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr issued his warning this morning after a second night of violence at Carlisle Circus in north Belfast in which 15 officers were injured.
“We need an urgent resolution of this issue or there is a very real possibility that somebody will be killed over the course of the next few days and weeks. It is as serious as that,” said Mr Kerr.
The previous night in similar violence involving loyalist and nationalist rioters 47 officers were injured.
In last night’s violence which only petered out at 3 am this morning police were pelted with petrol bombs, bricks, stones and fireworks. Police fired six plastic bullets. Seven people were arrested with Mr Kerr saying more arrests will follow.
Police said the trouble was started by loyalists and that nationalists were also involved.
Mr Kerr acknowledged that the trouble has raised concerns about whether a massive Orange Order parade on September 29th will pass off peacefully and about further trouble in the run-up to the parade.
The 6-mile parade from Belfast City Hall to Stormont commemorates the centenary of the signing of the anti-Home Rule Ulster Covenant. It will feature more than 20,000 Orangemen, 100 bands and tens of thousands of spectators.
Mr Kerr said Northern Ireland could not afford to wait for an “11th hour” solution on September 29th. He said politicians from both sides must stop their “posturing” and “sort it out and sort it out now”.
“We are deeply worried about the lead up to Saturday September 29th,” said Mr Kerr. “You can’t sustain the levels of violence that we had over the past two nights and not worry about somebody getting killed.”