Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Republican parade rioting condemned

Petrol bombs were thrown at officers in Londonderry

There has been condemnation of republican rioting in Londonderry which followed the annual Apprentice Boys parade in the city.

A mother and her daughter were pulled from their car by gangs who hijacked vehicles and attacked police.

Petrol bombs were thrown at officers and at the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, while police were also targeted with a pipe bomb in the hours after the loyal order march took place.

During violence in nationalist areas on Saturday evening a car was set alight and a van was hijacked, though police said there were no initial reports of injuries.

SDLP Assembly member for the area Mark H Durkan said: "Some of the people carrying out these disturbances are alarmingly young and are causing a huge amount of distress to the people of the Bogside."

He added: "A Royal Mail van and a Paolo's Pizza Van were burnt out - just what does that achieve? In fact, all it does is disrupt the local people of Derry who rely on the jobs and services they provide. The violence ...has been disgraceful. If those responsible think they are defenders of their community they should take a look at the destruction they have caused to their community and ask just what has this achieved."

Chief Superintendent Steve Martin was among those who appealed for calm after the parade passed off without major incident.

The event, held by the Protestant marching group which passes through the mainly nationalist city, was surrounded by tight security. Around 15,000 people were involved in the Apprentice Boys parade which included 140 bands. Around 100 dissident republicans staged protests at the city centre parade.

Apprentice Boys governor James Brownlee later congratulated participants in the parade, as well as the spectators.

The organisation expressed its sadness over the violence which it blamed on republicans opposed to its event.

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