44 POLICE OFFICERS INJURED AFTER THREE NIGHTS OF VIOLENCE

ACC Will Kerr and a PSNI riot helmet which he said was dented with a ceremonial sword during violence in Belfast

ACC Will Kerr and a PSNI riot helmet which he said was dented with a ceremonial sword during violence in Belfast

THE PSNI has revealed on Monday morning that a total of 44 officers have been injured following a third consecutive day of violence in Belfast.

And it is drafting in more UK police this week on top of over 1,000 ‘mutual aid’ officers already in Northern Ireland.

Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said the ‘mutal aid’ officers will be acting in support of the PSNI on the ground.

“We’ll probably bring more mutual aid officers to continue through the week and continue for as long as is necessary,” said ACC Kerr.

The senior police showed off at a press conference on Monday a PSNI riot helmet which he said was dented with an Orange Order ceremonial sword on Friday.

He described the attacks on police as “animalistic”.

A further headache for police is the pending Cliftonville v Celtic Champions League match in north Belfast on Wednesday night, July 17.

As police were releasing a statement on the recent violence, a DUP delegation arrived at PSNI headquarters in east Belfast around 11.30 am on Monday morning to meet senior police officers.

According to the police, 41 PSNI officers were injured, while three mutual aid officers who travelled from the mainland UK to help were hurt.

One of those was a female who sustained a fractured leg.

The PSNI said officers fired 49 AEP plastic baton rounds, while 53 petrol bombs were thrown as well as another 30 recovered by police.

To date there has been 49 arrests linked to public disorder.

Five of these arrests were in the Rathcoole area of Newtownabbey on Sunday. One of them detained was a 15-year-old youth.

So far 22 people have been charged and attended court.

The violence was sparked on Friday evening when three Ligoniel lodges were unable to complete their walk home along the Crumlin Road due to a Parades Commission ruling barring them from passing the Ardoyne shops for the first time.

Further protests took place on Saturday and Sunday, most of these protests were peaceful but some degenerated into violent clashes with police in north and east Belfast.

On Sunday night, a police officer was injured during a proactive operation to seize materials in the Woodvale Road area of north Belfast.

The PSNI say at least six petrol bombs and various other missiles were thrown at police officers.

A hijacked car is set on fire during a third night of violence in north Belfast

A hijacked car is set on fire during a third night of violence in north Belfast

Riot units came under sporadic attack in the Woodvale Road area on Sunday night.

Two baton rounds have been fired by riot police.

“Water cannon was not used at this time,” the spokesman added.

A stand off continued through the night between crowds and police.

Petrol bombs, fireworks and stones were thrown at police lines as officers dealt with running skirmishes at the bottom of Woodvale Road.

At one stage police moved crowds towards the Ballygomartin Road where a number of petrol bombs were thrown.

Meanwhile, a barricade was erected on the Shore Road at its junction with Mount Vernon.

It is understood a car was hijacked and set alight in the area.

Industrial bins were also set on fire at the entrance to the loyalist estate as a crowd of up to 70 gathered.

Firefighters attended the scene.

Part of the road was closed by police and motorists were advised to avoid the area.

Earlier more than 300 loyalists, including Orangemen, gathered at Twaddell Avenue where a peaceful white line protest took place in the afternoon.

A group of nationalists also gathered from the other side of the Ardoyne roundabout but later dispersed.

It comes after the Parades Commission ruled that an Orange Order parade could not walk past the mainly nationalist Ardoyne area on the Twelfth of July.

Bands and lodges were stopped by police at Twaddell Avenue.

Ugly scenes followed as the PSNI came under attack with missiles. A total of 32 officers were injured during six hours of rioting.

The Orange Order had called for protests against the Parades Commission’s ruling; however this call was suspended in the wake of the violence.

ACC Will Kerr with a shield broken during rioting in Belfast

ACC Will Kerr with a shield broken during rioting in Belfast

Meanwhile, ten people appeared at a special court sitting of Belfast Magistrates Court on Sunday evening over weekend violence.

Eight people were remanded in custody on Sunday, one pleaded guilty and a tenth was released on court bail.

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2 Responses to 44 POLICE OFFICERS INJURED AFTER THREE NIGHTS OF VIOLENCE

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