Loyalists lob device over peace wall as Cameron tells the world the North of Ireland is a changed place.
AS DAVID Cameron told the world on Tuesday that the North of Ireland was a transformed place, lloyalists almost set fire to a four-year-old child in East Belfast. A lit device lobbed over a sectarian interface exploded where the little girl was playing with her friend.
The child sustained minor burns in the blast on Bryson Street just before 4pm. The attack came as the British prime minister told an international press conference that the world had seen a new North of Ireland “that is bringing down the peace walls which have separated its people for so long”. A day earlier at the Waterfrount Hall – just a mile away from the attack – US president Barack Obama declared that other divgrateful ncieties the North is the “blueprint to follow” and “they are watching to see what you do next”. James Callaghan’s (pictured above) grandaughter was playing with the girl who was injured in the petrol-bomb attack outside his house. He ran out to drag the two girls inside. On Tuesday night he said : “We’ve been very, very lucky.” Sinn Fein councillor Niall O Donnghaile said one of the gils was treated at the scene for minor burn injuires. “People round east Belfast, no matter what side they’re on, do not deserve another few months of this,” he said. “They deserve some peace.” On Tuesday night loyalist and nationalist groups gathered in the interface area in the latest of a number of confrontations. The G8 leaders ended their two-day conference at Lough Erne on Tuesday. Despite the massive security operation fears of violence proved unfounded with just two arrested.
One suffers burns after device thrown over peace wall.
On Tuesday night the scorch damage could be clearly seen within a yard of where children were standing on Bryson Street. The bomb was thrown over the Short Strand/Cluan Place peace wall in east Belfast into the built-up nationalist area at around 3.55pm on Tuesday. James Callaghan described how he ran out from his house to drag his hysterical grandaughter Tierna Benson and her friend Brooke inside. “I heard two glass bottles breaking outside and then I heard something else that I knew wasn’t a bottle and saw a flash and ran outside,” he said. “The girls were standing by the grate. I just grabbed the two girls and pulled them inside. The wee girl Brooke was crying hysterically. They were both in a bad way. “They were so upset I couldn’t even see if either of them had been hurt. “We’re just gratful nothing happened to them. We’ve been very, very lucky.” Sinn Fein councillor Niall O Donnghaile said Brooke, who had been visting her grandparents on the street, suffered minor burn injuries. “Police officers gave her first aid at the scene,” he said. Police said on Tusday night tensions are high in the area – often a ‘bellwether interface’ for marching season violence. “Tensions in the area are high following an incident that took place on Sunday June 16 where a petrol bomb was thrown from the Short Strand into Cluan Place,” a police spokesman said. “A 15-year-old male was subsequently arrested for arson. “Police have also received reports of stones being thrown between different areas.” “A number of young people gathered at the interface on Tuesday night and police would ask parents to ensure that they know the whereabouts of their children to ensure that they do not get drawn into any violence or antisocal behaviour at interfaces.” CCTV was being checked on Tuesday night to try and try and identify the person who threw the dangerous device.
Mr Callaghan, who has lived beside the peacewall for 13 years, said there have been crowds “gathering” in nearby loyalist Montpottinger. “It only really happened in the summer months. It’s just ‘eejits’ and animals that’s doing it.” He said his grandaughter is now too frightened to play in the back garden and immediately wanted to go back to her own home. “She’s really shaken up. She’s going to have nightmares. Both the girls are always good. We tell them to stay on the side of the street because of the cars but now they’re to scared to be outside at all.” Mr O Donnghaile said people in the area have suffered enough during the recent “three months of problems around flags,” he said.
With many thanks to : Bimpe Archer, Irish News.
- Hate crime probe over Cluan Place petrol bomb attack (newsletter.co.uk)
- Petrol bomb thrown at girl (4) (newsletter.co.uk)
- “Bellweather interface” kicking off with multiple petrol bomb attacks… (sluggerotoole.com)
- Breaking News…large Crowds Gather at East Belfast Interface (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Northern Ireland’s peace walls: the great divide keeping Troubles at bay (abc.net.au)
- For Belfast, keeping peace means a city of walls (mannaismayaadventure.com)
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