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Injured officers deserve apology

(Editorial, Irish News)

While this year's loyalist marching season was among the quietest in living memory, the consequences of last summer's violence are still being felt.

It has emerged that seven of the police officers hospitalised in the rioting following the Orange Order's Whiterock parade in Belfast 12 months ago have still been unable to return to work.

The refusal of Orange officials to condemn the violence – which led to a total of more than 100 police injuries – was among the most shameful chapters in the organisation's history.

Attacks on police officers as they go about their duties, whether loyalists or republicans are responsible, are completely unacceptable.

Everyone has the right to engage in peaceful protest but the events surrounding last September's demonstration certainly did not fall into that category.

Even at this late stage, an apology from the Orange Order to the injured officers would be fully justified.

September 12, 2006

This article appeared first in the September 6, 2006 edition of the Irish News.