14-year-old boy charged with rioting
LOYALIST bandsmen were attacked by nationalists who had been protesting against a march past St Patrick‘s Church and the Carrick Hill area of North Belfast. A crowd of around 20 men charged the band and their supporters as they made their way along nearby York Street in a separate parade at around 7.45pm.
Hand-to-hand fighting ensued and one loyalist was beaten to the ground. He was lifted into a PSNI Land Rover for first-aid. There was a heavy police presence in the Donegall Street and Clifton Street area during the contentious return parade past Belfast’s newest flashpoint but it was several minutes before officers got to the situation in York Street under control. The attack happened as police stopped nationalst residents of Carrick Hill returning to their homes after the main parade. As officers held the group back at the junction of Carrick Hill and Donegal Street a crowd standing on the other side of the junction close to the nationalist New Lodge area ran the 300 or so metres towards York Street where a band had stopped and was playing music. Eyewitnesses said police were “caught on the hop” which allowed the nationalist group to attack the bandsmen and their suppoters.
PSNI Land Rovers raced towards the incident and were joined by officers in riot gear who covered the short distance on foot. The eariler parade along Donegall Street had passed off peacefully with only a few insults exchanged between bandsmen and their supporters and nationalists. The Parades Commission had ordered bands to play hymns as they passed the church and a single drumbeat at Carrick Hill but some bands broke the determination. One man walking behind the Shankill Protestant Boys band gave a Nazi salute as he walked past the church and protesters. There were minor scuffles at the junction of Union Street when police officers intervened to remove supporters who were banned for a section of Donegal Street and Clifton Street by the Parades Commission. Meanwhile, a 14-year-old boy has been charged with rioting after he was arrested in North Belfast in the early hours of yesterday. The boy,was arrested in the Oldpark area, was one of several arrested ahead of the Twelfth demonsrrations. He is to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court today. A 28-year-old man who was arrested in the Broadway area of West Belfast on Thurday night is to appear before the same court today, charged with pocessing articles for use in petrol bombs and riotious assembly. A 22-year-old man arrested in the Springfield Road area of west Belfast has been charged with disorderly behaviour and indecent behaviour. He is expected to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court on August 8.
With many thanks to : Maeve Connolly, The Irish News.
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