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Anger and frustration after a spate of thuggery in Ardoyne

The scene in the Ardoyne interface area of Belfast as for a second night in a row police try to restore calm
The scene in the Ardoyne interface area of Belfast as for a second night in a row police try to restore calm
The scene in the Ardoyne interface area of Belfast as for a second night in a row police try to restore calm
The scene in the Ardoyne interface area of Belfast as for a second night in a row police try to restore calm
The scene in the Ardoyne interface area of Belfast as for a second night in a row police try to restore calm
The clean-up operation begins yesterday after rioting in the Ardoyne area on the Twelfth
The clean-up operation begins yesterday after rioting in the Ardoyne area on the Twelfth
The scene in the Ardoyne interface area of Belfast as for a second night in a row police try to restore calm
The scene in the Ardoyne interface area of Belfast as for a second night in a row police try to restore calm
Police in Belfast's North Queen Street last night after further trouble in the area
Police in Belfast's North Queen Street last night after further trouble in the area
Police clash with protesters in the Ardoyne Road area of north Belfast
Police clash with protesters in the Ardoyne Road area of north Belfast
A stolen car explodes as police clash with protesters in the Ardoyne Road area of north Belfast
PSNI footage of rioters attacking police in Ardoyne, North Belfast on the 12th of July
PSNI footage of rioters attacking police in Ardoyne, North Belfast on the 12th of July
Riot aftermath in Ardoyne, North Belfast yesterday
Riot aftermath in Ardoyne, North Belfast yesterday
The scene in the Ardoyne interface area of Belfast as for a second night in a row police try to restore calm
The scene in the Ardoyne interface area of Belfast as for a second night in a row police try to restore calm
The scene in the Ardoyne interface area of Belfast as for a second night in a row police try to restore calm
Trouble in Ardoyne following the Orange Order parade in the area
The scene in the Ardoyne interface area of Belfast as for a second night in a row police try to restore calm
Disturbances at Belfast's Ardoyne interface. July 12, 210
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
A plastic bullet is fired (right side of the photo) as police clash with youths before a loyalist band parade passes the Ardoyne shops
The scene at the Ardoyne interface as the Orange Order march through the area
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
The scene at the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast as police remove protesters blocking the road ahead of an Orange Order march
The scene at the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast as police remove protesters blocking the road ahead of an Orange Order march 2010
The scene at the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast as an Orange Order parade passes through the flashpoint area
The scene at the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast as police remove protesters blocking the road ahead of an Orange Order march
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
A police officer is brought to hosiptal after being injured during rioting at ARdoyne in north Belfast
Youths clash with police following an Orange Order march past Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Youths clash with police following an Orange Order march past Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Youths clash with police following an Orange Order march past Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
The scene at the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast as an Orange Order parade passes through the flashpoint area
The scene at the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast as an Orange Order parade passes through the flashpoint area
The scene at the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast as an Orange Order parade passes through the flashpoint area
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
The scene at the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast as an Orange Order parade passes through the flashpoint area
Youths clash with police following an Orange Order march past Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Youths clash with police following an Orange Order march past Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Youths clash with police following an Orange Order march past Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Youths clash with police following an Orange Order march past Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Youths clash with police following an Orange Order march past Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
The scene at the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast as an Orange Order parade passes through the flashpoint area
Youths clash with police following an Orange Order march past Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Youths clash with police following an Orange Order march past Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Youths clash with police following an Orange Order march past Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
The scene at the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast as police remove protesters blocking the road ahead of an Orange Order march
The scene at the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast as an Orange parade passes through the flashpoint area
Nationalist youths stage a rooftop protest as an Orange Order parade passes the Ardoyne shops in North Belfast
Police accompany the parade past the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Nationalist youths clash with riot police before an Orange Order parade passes the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Disturbances in Belfast's Ardoyne interface area July 12 2010
Nationalist youths clash with riot police before an Orange Order parade passes the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Nationalist youths clash with riot police before an Orange Order parade passes the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Nationalist youths clash with riot police before an Orange Order parade passes the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Nationalist youths clash with riot police before an Orange Order parade passes the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Police accompany the Orange Order parade past the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Police accompany the Orange Order parade past the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
A police officer is injured after she was struck by a concrete block pushed from the roof of a building as youths clashed with riot police after an Orange Order parade passed the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
A police officer is injured after she was struck by a concrete block pushed from the roof of a building as youths clashed with riot police after an Orange Order parade passed the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
A police officer is injured after she was struck by a concrete block pushed from the roof of a building as youths clashed with riot police after an Orange Order parade passed the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Nationalist youths clash with riot police before a loyalist band parade passes the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast
Youths clash with riot police before a loyalist band parade passes the Ardoyne shops
Police have fired a number of baton rounds after being attacked with petrol bombs by rioters in north Belfast
A PSNI landrover is attacked in Ardoyne, north Belfast
Police and nationalist protesters after an Orange Order march in north Belfast
Annual 12th July Orange Order parades take place across Northern Ireland to mark The Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Local residents at Ardoyne in north Belfast hold a peaceful protest as local lodges make their way past the Ardoyne shops to the main parade. The feeder parade makes it's way down the Crumlin Road and past the Ardoyne shops with nationalist residents holding a protest.
The Twelfth 2010. Ardoyne, Belfast
The Twelfth 2010. Ardoyne, Belfast
The Twelfth 2010. Ardoyne, Belfast
The Twelfth 2010. Ardoyne, Belfast
The Twelfth 2010. Ardoyne, Belfast
The Twelfth 2010. Ardoyne, Belfast
The Twelfth 2010. Ardoyne, Belfast
The Twelfth 2010. Ardoyne, Belfast
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal
The Twelfth 2010. Sandy Row, Belfast
The Twelfth 2010. East Belfast
The Twelfth 2010. East Belfast
The Twelfth 2010. East Belfast

By Anne Maden

Picking his way through the debris of the Twelfth rioting in Ardoyne, local priest Fr Gary Donegan spied a soiled and sodden tricolour flag lying on the ground.

He captured this image on his mobile phone as it summed up for him the shocking events of the night.

“The tricolour left like a rag on the ground, soaked from the police water cannon, is symbolic of the people involved in the rioting,” Fr Donegan said.

“That’s how much those heroes fighting for Ireland think of their flag. Where are those heroes today? Lying in their beds till three this afternoon, probably.”

The priest, like many people waking up in Ardoyne yesterday morning, was angry and half-resigned to the ritual of violence that accompanies the annual Orange parade and protests.

The priest's anger was mainly directed at the recreational rioters that he said had “been spoiling for a fight”.

“There was about a dozen men I've never even seen before — they didn't even have Belfast accents. Some of them were shouting ‘Up the Hoods',” he said.

That seemed to sum up the thuggery of the night but it is a more complex scenario of years of ill-feeling between Ardoyne residents and the Orange marchers which shows no sign of being resolved.

The Crumlin Road outside Holy Cross Catholic Church, where Fr Donegan has worked for the past decade, bore the scars of the night's violence with scorch marks and blackened debris.

Attached to a number of nearby lampposts were signs stating ‘We are residents, not dissidents’ and ‘No parade violence’ from a new community organisation called the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC).

Members of this organisation, including spokesman Martin Og Meehan, were among the sit-down protesters on the road who were arrested by riot police on Monday night.

Some have accused dissident republicans of infiltrating the group who have taken a hardline approach to the parades issue in the area. In a statement yesterday, Mr Meehan said that GARC had appealed to young people to refrain from violence but that “anger and frustration against an unwelcome parade again spilled over”.

The actions of GARC were criticised by another residents’ group, the Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association (CARA), which said it had warned that a sit-down protest would result in a riot.

Sinn Fein Assembly Member for North Belfast, Gerry Kelly, agreed that the violence was orchestrated by outsiders.

“Let me condemn the people who were involved in the rioting,” Mr Kelly said. “The residents’ group had a peaceful protest but unfortunately this anti-social group came in and took over the area.”

One young mother hurrying along the road stopped to discuss the night's violence with the priest.

“I had to bring my kids in to the house at 5pm on a lovely day,” she said. “So much for our cross-community work. Every single road was blocked by the police last night and that makes people angry.”

Her comments were made all the more poignant by the large mural adorning a nearby gable wall which declares: ‘We believe the children are the future.’

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