Relation of Colin Duffy blames PSNI for disorder
A leading republican has come under fire after refusing to condemn attacks on police following the abandoned anti-internment parade in Belfast on Sunday.
Mandy Duffy, who is a sister-in-law of leading Lurgan republican Colin Duffy, said people had felt hemmed in by a heavy police presence.
The Newry-based woman made clear she did not condone attacks on the PSNI but would not condemn the attacks on Sunday which left nine police officers suffering from minor injuries.
"Why did police stay in Ardoyne for so long afterwards, when there was a festival on... and buses trying to get out were blocked," Mrs Duffy told the Stephen Nolan show.
"The responsibility for the violence which followed was the heavy-handed presence of the police in the area. The violence was a reaction to the persecution of the police in Ardoyne."
Mrs Duffy of the Irish Republican Prisoners' Welfare Association also defended the decision of march organisers not to adhere to Parades Commission determination that it should leave the city centre by 1.30pm - an hour before the march even got underway.
Ulster Unionist MLA Ross Hussey said he could not believe anyone would not condemn attacks on the police.
"I am disgusted anybody would come onto the radio and not condemn violence," he said.
"Anyone who throws petrol bombs at police officrs, that is pre-meditated."