Belfast Telegraph

Rathcoole ‘lessons learned’

Politicians, church leaders and and the PSNI joined forces last week to discuss the recent street violence in north Belfast.

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds convened the meeting last Thursday, with PSNI commanders, party colleagues and local church ministers to discuss the disturbances in the Rathcoole/Cloughfern area last month.

The meeting was hosted by Rev Billy Davison at Newtownabbey Methodist Mission. PSNI district commander Chief Superintendent Henry Irvine and area commander Chief Inspector Paula Hilman answered questions.

Mr Dodds said: “This was a worthwhile and positive meeting giving all present the opportunity to put a range of concerns to the police and to reflect some of the views expressed to us by local residents. These included questions about how the disturbances arose, how the police handled the situation, how investigations are progressing and what lessons have been learned. The disturbances which occurred over two nights last month came as a great shock and disappointment to everyone who has the best interests of the area at heart. No-one wants to see this sort of thing happening in the future; it does not represent the true face of Rathcoole.”

Inspector Paula Hilman said: “The meeting was worthwhile and we welcome any opportunity to move forward and address the concerns of the community in partnership.”

Belfast Telegraph

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