Chief Constable praises police 'courage and restraint' after 47 officers were injured amid sectarian rioting in Belfast

 

A Chief Constable has praised “the courage and restraint” of police after 47 officers were injured as they tried to quell sectarian rioting in Belfast.

One officer remains in hospital after suffering serious injuries during the violence last night and early yesterday morning when they were attacked by loyalist and republican mobs.

Matt Baggott, chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said his officers will continue “to act as peacekeepers” but warned the region cannot afford a repeat of the violence. He added: “Others have a responsibility within the community and wider society to resolve the conflict and tensions surrounding parading.”

Intensive behind-the-scenes contacts are already under way in Belfast in an attempt to prevent a recurrence of the rioting in the north of the city.

Political and community representatives are anxious to find agreement on arrangements for a major Orange Order march scheduled to take place in the district on September 29th.

Among those involved in talks will be Northern Ireland’s most senior politicians, unionist first minister Peter Robinson and deputy first minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein.

Sunday night’s violence, which came as hundreds of loyalists took to the streets in protest against a republican march, follows a dispute which first flared in July when a loyalist band stopped outside a Catholic church and played a contentious song.

Officers used water cannon to hose down rioters who threw petrol bombs, bricks, bottles and fireworks at them. Some of those involved were seen breaking up masonry which was hurled at police lines. Police described the attacks on them as “savage.”

Rioters damaged a nearby nursing home, vandalising equipment and setting bins on fire. A spokesman for the home said: “None of our patients was hurt during the incident but this was a very distressing experience for this very vulnerable group of patients, many of whom have dementia conditions.” Police chief superintendent George Clarke said there was no doubt that the disturbances had been organised, adding: “The violence did come from both sides of the community but initially certainly it came from within loyalism.”

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?