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It is now time to come down hard on rioters

Questions in relation to the rioting in Ardoyne and other areas of Northern Ireland seem to remain unanswered.

Firstly, there were clear images of children - children of primary school age - that were participating in riots.

Any parent or guardian that allows a child to be out and about where they are in danger must be guilty of negligence in any school of thought.

We then have youths who clearly are under 18 years of age attacking the security forces with petrol bombs and stones as well as other missiles.

Our softly, softly approach to these aspiring terrorists has to stop.

I have often suggested that instead of a water cannon, slurry tankers should be used to tackle them.

There is no doubt that this would soon move the miscreants who are blocking roads and causing mayhem.

If you are prepared to throw a petrol bomb you should be prepared to accept that if you are hit with a taser you will be burnt, and if you are arrested you will serve a substantial term of imprisonment.

These people have been well trained and have to be nipped in the bud unless we want to see yet another brand of IRA appear on our streets.

Now is the time for our Assembly to show it has teeth and for our Justice Minister to ensure that relevant legislation is introduced to let these thugs know that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour.

CLLR ROSS M HUSSEY (UUP)

Omagh District Council

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