Murdered girl's family appeals for calm after riots

 

The family of a murdered Tyrone teenager, Sylvia Fleming (17), yesterday appealed for calm following a night of rioting in Mullaghmore, Omagh, on Tuesday, during which a policeman was set on fire after being struck by a petrol bomb. He was not seriously injured.

The trouble continued for several hours until 2.30 a.m. yesterday. Stones, bricks and petrol bombs were thrown at police who were escorting a family to safety. A house was also extensively damaged after being set alight by a petrol bomb.

The dead teenager's uncle, Mr Joe Fleming, appealed for an end to the trouble. "We totally condemn it, and we would ask the people who are involved in it to desist, because they are certainly not doing anything to help the Fleming family," he said.

Supt James Baxter of the RUC said he fully understood the hurt, anger and desperation of the people of Omagh following Ms Fleming's murder. "But nothing could justify last night's actions or other recent incidents.

" This type of violent behaviour cannot be tolerated, and I thank all those responsible members of the community who have been actively working to reduce tensions, and I would appeal to them to continue to do that so that we do not see any further disturbance.

A man was convicted yesterday at Enniskillen Magistrates' Court of riotous behaviour as a result of the disturbances. Stephen Christopher McGinty (20), from Mullaghmore, was fined £100.

Trouble flared at the Omagh estate for the second night running last night, PA reports. Two houses were petrol bombed and the oil tank at another set on fire, starting a blaze on the roof of the house next door on the Mullaghmore estate.

Police in riot gear were involved in a stand-off with local youths and a stock of petrol bombs were recovered.