Belfast Telegraph

Loyalist residents in second protest at flashpoint

By Louise Small

Loyalist residents in east Belfast have staged a second night of protests.

Last night saw up to 60 protesters standing at the interface area on the Lower Newtownards Road.

Placards reading ‘Stop the attacks on our area’ were held by protesters in the middle of the road.

One protest organiser, Cathy Hart, said: “Instead of causing damage to our area we have decided to hold a peaceful protest. We want to get the word across that the attacks are happening on a daily basis; the attacks are coming from Bryson Street in the Short Strand.

She added: “Cluan Place, Madrid Street and The Mount are attacked nightly. There is a 95- year-old pensioner living there and he has to take sleeping tablets.

“Community workers are trying to fight the case. Stuff needs to be done, I can’t sit out my back for fear of an attack. We have grilles on our windows. It’s 2011, these shouldn’t be needed.”

UUP councillor Michael Copeland said: “What we are dealing with is a community feeling ignored. There have been signs for a long time that all wasn’t well in the area, many people contact the police when they have nuts and bolts landing in their gardens, but some have lost heart and there is a sense of disengagement in the area.

“It is like living in a pressure cooker, you never know from one moment to another. We get reports on a daily basis; it happens on both sides,” he added.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph