Belfast Telegraph

Net closing on the dissidents behind Easter riot: PSNI

By Angela Rainey

The PSNI has warned "pathetic" dissident republicans behind Easter violence that they face imminent arrest.

The statement was uploaded to Craigavon PSNI's Facebook page after a female officer was kicked in the head as she lay on the ground in Lurgan on Easter Monday.

Two 15-year-olds were arrested after the incident, and one subsequently appeared in court.

But the PSNI said the youths were merely scapegoats for the dissident "cowards" responsible for orchestrating violence in the area over the holidays.

The police said those directing the rioting were only interested in saving their own skins.

"As those two lads found out, custody cells are miserable places and are far from home, family and friends," the statement posted online added.

"It's not a badge of honour, a tick off the bucket list, or anything else even remotely worth striving for.

"It can ruin your life. It will massively affect your job prospects, bar you from travelling to some countries, and in some circumstances will hang over you for life.

"Lads especially, if someone asks you to pick something up to fire at us, or to make a phone call to lure us into the area, don't do it.

"And if they hand you a petrol bomb or tell you to set fire to something, don't even touch it.

"They don't care about you. The fact that they aren't doing it themselves shows them for the cowards they are.

"They don't want to make you into a 'hero', an 'activist', or a 'volunteer for the cause'. They don't want you to 'have a bit of craic' either. They want to make you their fall guy by doing their dirty work."

And the online police statement said: "To the Dissident Dans who were driving around between these young lads on Monday, directing the trouble, encouraging them to do this and ultimately getting them arrested, you should be ashamed of yourself.

"You're pathetic. Your lowlife response when we made the arrests shows you for what you are too. Kicking female officers in the head when they're on the ground? Big men indeed!

"Who exactly in your community do you think you represent in doing that?

"We already know who some of you are, and we will be coming for you.

"That might be today, or tomorrow, or next week, but it will happen. Sleep well."

The PSNI also added the hashtag #knockknockyourenicked

Police were attacked after trouble flared in the Kilwilkie estate in Lurgan on Easter Monday, with a number of youths turning on officers.

The rioters threw missiles and two officers were injured in the fracas, one of them the policewoman.

It was the second time in recent months that the Kilwilkie area has been a hotspot for trouble.

Earlier this year, in January, rampaging dissidents threw petrol bombs and fired a gunshot at police officers.

A hoax bomb was also placed on the main Belfast-Dublin railway line that runs through Lurgan.

Belfast Telegraph


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