McGuinness seeks 'sensible' approach to dealing with Belfast riots

Monday 15 July 2013 11.31
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Seven PSNI officers were injured in the riots
Seven PSNI officers were injured in the riots
Bricks, bottles and other missiles were also thrown at PSNI officers
Bricks, bottles and other missiles were also thrown at PSNI officers

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has called for a sensible and measured approach in dealing with the violence over the past few days in Belfast.

Mr McGuinness told RTÉ's This Week that the people of Belfast have to sit down and talk to each other to find a way forward.

He was speaking after seven PSNI officers were injured when they came under attack from loyalist rioters for a second successive night in north Belfast.

The violence is linked to the prevention of an Orange Order parade from returning through Ardoyne on Friday.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said leaders of the Orange Order in Belfast must take some responsibility for what was happening on the streets.

Petrol bombs, bricks, bottles and other missiles were thrown at officers in the same Woodvale area of the city that witnessed serious disorder on Friday night.

Police responded by firing baton rounds and deploying water cannon.

Officers described the unrest as "sporadic". Three people were arrested.

The Woodvale Road and the Newtownards Road area of east Belfast witnessed the worst violence on Friday, with 32 police officers injured.

MP for North Belfast Nigel Dodds was treated in hospital after being struck by a brick in the clashes in Woodvale. He was discharged yesterday morning.

An extra 400 police officers from Britain were deployed to Northern Ireland after Friday's rioting.

More than 600 mutual aid officers from England, Scotland and Wales were already there supporting the PSNI operation as tension surrounding the traditional 12 July commemorations spiralled into disorder.

Trouble flared on Friday as police attempted to enforce a decision banning a controversial Orange Order parade from passing the republican Ardoyne area on the Crumlin Road.

Disorder then spread to east Belfast during six hours of violence.

The Orange Order had originally called for protests against the ruling by the Parades Commission, but senior Orangemen called for protest action to be suspended after Friday's violence.

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott yesterday condemned those responsible for the trouble and also criticised those within the Orange Order leadership who called for protests.