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Warning of fresh trouble at interface

(Sharon O'Neill, Irish News)

Representatives from both sides of the community at the centre of fresh sectarian trouble in north Belfast, last night warned of further disorder.

Calls for all involved to redouble their efforts to help restore calm at a highly volatile interface in Ardoyne, came after disorder left two police officers slightly injured.

A stand-off developed between nationalists and loyalists in the Alliance Avenue/Ardoyne Road flashpoint on Sunday night.

Various missiles were thrown leaving a female police officer with a shoulder injury and a male colleague with a hand wound. Both were treated in hospital.

The trouble came during a day of building tensions after reports that a number of Protestant homes in the Glenbryn area were targeted.

There were a number of sectarian attacks over the weekend following serious violence at the Ardoyne shops area on the Twelfth night.

In the early hours of Saturday, Catholic mother Sharon O'Shea, sustained cuts in a bomb attack on her home in Mountainview Gardens on the upper Crumlin Road, and Protestant houses in the Suffolk area of west Belfast were also targeted.

Sinn Féin councillor Margaret McClenaghan said Sunday's stand-off in Ardoyne occurred after a large number of loyalists from Glenbryn gathered in the area.

"There were golf balls and missiles thrown from both ways," she said.

The councillor said a Catholic woman's house in Alliance Avenue was stoned at around 4am.

"There needs to be people, elected representatives, community workers, working proactively on both sides before this gets out of control," she said.

"It is time parents, if they do hear there is something happening, to see if any of their children are present. One of these kids are going to be killed. At the minute it doesn't look great.

"Everybody has to redouble their efforts to calm the situation down here and do what they can to nip things in the bud before they even get started where possible."

Ann Bill of the Glenbryn-based Upper Ardoyne Community Partnership said: "There were houses in Glenbryn attacked and the response was houses in Alliance Avenue, the Catholic end, were attacked.

"Every time something doesn't go right in the political process, it comes out at the interfaces, and people on both sides of the communities are suffering for it.

"On the Protestant end, the issue of security in that area has still never been resolved.

"I think the agenda has been set. There are people out there with an agenda to create trouble."

July 20, 2005

This article appeared first in the July 19, 2005 edition of the Irish News.

This article appears thanks to the Irish News. Subscribe to the Irish News