THIS is the video footage which nails the Gerry Adams lie that no one from Short Strand was involved in Saturday’s violence.

Interviewed on Sunday at the Short Strand interface, the Sinn Fein president gave the Short Strand a clean bill of health over the violence.

But as the video shows, nationalist youths came out of the Short Strand to attack marchers.

On Saturday, loyalist marchers walked past the Short Strand and came under attack from nationalist youths wearing scarfs, hoods and masks to hide their identities.

Local unionist community leaders have condemned the police for re-routing loyalist marchers past the Short Strand on Saturday.

Said one: “The police messed up big time. Police are clearly seen on the footage standing looking at the nationalists throwing stones at Protestants.

“No baton rounds were fired into the Short Strand. No water cannon was used on them.

“People are now starting to ask did the police deliberately send the marchers that way so they would get attacked.”

One of those suspected of being involved is seen wearing a Translink sweat shirt. He is Mark Parr, a bus driver for Translink and he is seen hurling a missile and wielding a baseball bat at loyalists.

Some of the footage was filmed by a CNN camera crew and reporter who were covering the events.

The reporter tells his news channel: “A Catholic youth races to attack Protestant demonstrators.’

“It is like a red rag to a bull. Protestants taunt the Catholics….”.

Dressed in a light blue hoody, the youth is carrying a black bag containing bottles which he hurls one by one at the returning loyalists.

However, Mr Adams appears not to have seen the footage otherwise he would have so quick to reject suggestions that Short Strand youths initiated the trouble.

He visted the Short Strand on Sunday accompanied by Gerry Kelly MLA, Cara Ni Chuilin, the Sports Minister and local Sinn Fein councillor Niall Donghaigle and Deirdre Hargey.

Adams told the TV cameras:

“The people of Short Strand weren’t out rioting.

“The poeple of Short Strand weren’t out hijackig.

“The people of Short Strand weren’t out wearing balaclavas and hoods.

“The people of the Short Strand weren’t attacking the PSNI.

“The people of Short Strand were involved in no activity at all,” said the Sinn Fein TD for Louth.

At a press conference on Monday, the Chief Constable Matt Baggott warned that young people involved in rioting faced going to prison for their crimes.

Mr Baggott defended a police operation on Saturday when the PSNI re-routed loyalist protesters past a nationalist area in east Belfast.

“Residents should not have been put through that. I’m sorry they were put through that trauma,” he said.

Loyalists maintain that marchers were attacked first by nationalist youths from the Short Strand before hand to hand fighting broke out between the two sides.

Mr Baggott said that police estimated more than 4,000 people took part in street protests on Friday across Northern Ireland.

Some descended into rioting, with police attacked in Rathcoole in Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus in County Antrim and in east Belfast.

In total, 29 police officers were injured at the weekend in rioting at east Belfast’s Short Strand interface.

Four were admitted to hospital. On Monday, one officer is still receiving hospital treatment.

It followed a loyalist protest over the decision to restrict the flying of the union flag at Belfast City Hall.

Mr Baggott said that “sweeping protesters” off the streets would not work and he said that the parades were not being properly regulated.

“I want to see an absolute reassertion of the rule of law in relation to the Parades Commision’s position,” he said.

“You can’t have public safety and unregulated parades – they don’t go together.

“I want to see a total assertion again that the only way to allow peaceful protest must be through proper notification, proper planning and proper regulation and that needs to a universal voice across politics and from those who are community activists.”

Mr Baggott said his overwhelming sentiment and those of the vast majority of people is sadness.

“Sadness that we’ve seen another weekend of disorder, another weekend where inevitably as the weeks unfold, young people predominantly being brought before the courts with their lives being blighted by criminal convictions,” he said.

Belfast Interface Project director Joe O’Donnell said keeping rival groups apart is vital, or years of cross-community work will be destroyed.

“If the protests are to continue a good step would be to move them back from interface areas,” Mr O’Donnell said.

“That would immediately start to bring a calm to the situation.

“It would give an opportunity for people to begin to engage, to try and talk to each other, to try and rebuild, to ease the tensions and to try and pick up the pieces.”

Senior leaders of a loyalist paramilitary group have said violent opposition to the union flag decision must stop.

A senior Ulster Defence Association (UDA) figure said loyalists were playing into Sinn Féin’s hands.

Jimmy Birch, from the organisation in east Belfast, was speaking in an interview for a BBC Radio Ulster documentary, Inside The Flag Protests.

“Every time they call a tune, we take to the streets,” he said.

“We are wrecking our own areas, we fight with the police, we are burning our own cars and we stop our own people going to work and coming home from work and disrupt our own people’s way of life.

“It is wrong, we need to step back and we need to stop being predictable.”

Mr Birch said UDA members had been told not to take part in rioting.

Meanwhile, at least 1,000 people gathered outside Belfast City Hall at lunchtime on Sunday to protest against the violence.

There were no speeches, but for five minutes they clapped, cheered, whistled, and banged drums in what they called an “anti-silence”.

People said they were representing “the silent majority” who were opposed to violence and trouble.

Trouble started after Belfast City Council voted on December 3 last year by 29-21 to only fly the Union flag on designated days of the year.

The first was last Wednesday for the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton’s 31st birthday.

It will next be flown on January 20 for the Duchess of Wessex’s birthday.

The majority of the street demonstrations have passed without incident.

However, some have resulted in serious rioting in which 99 police officers have been injured.

To date 112 people have been arrested, of whom 85 have been charged.

Police expect to make more arrests in the days and weeks ahead.



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