'Loyalist mob' injures 10 police officers during Portadown riot

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) last night defended tactics used in dealing with orchestrated violence in Portadown that has been blamed on loyalists and left 10 officers injured.

A police spokeswoman said the force had been aware of the risk of violence after loyalists began circulating texts calling for a show of strength that led to a three-hour riot.



A 19-year-old man has been charged with assaulting a police officer plus public order offences, while a 31-year-old man has been released on bail pending further police investigations into the violence that occurred after crowds gathered at midnight in Portadown.



The teenager is to appear at Craigavon Magistrates Court on 18 December.



Police said 10 officers were hurt and vehicles were damaged after trouble flared in the Mandeville Street and West Street area.



Social Democratic Labour Party (SDLP) Upper Bann Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Dolores Kelly said: “Two weeks ago we warned that texts were circulating calling on all loyalists to gather for a show of force in the centre of the town at pub closing time.



“This was incredibly stupid, incredibly provocative and the purpose was made absolutely clear in the texts which we forwarded to the media — to intimidate nationalists and lay claim to ownership of the town centre.



“As far as I have heard the police were prepared and were able to move the mob back and generally control the situation. But the fundamental point is that a very substantial group of people are determined to deny access to the town centre for all.”



A PSNI spokeswoman said its response had been “appropriate and proportionate”.



“This was an illegal protest, however police had been made aware of texts circulating in the Portadown area earlier in the week,” she said.



The Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition said serious questions needed to be asked regarding PSNI tactics.



Spokesman Breandán Mac Cionnaith said: “It has been a well-known fact for some time that loyalists were planning to gather in Portadown on Saturday night.



“By permitting this intimidatory mob to assemble last night in the first place the PSNI ensured a clear message was sent out signalling that Portadown town centre is not a welcome or safe place at night for Catholics or nationalists.”

Source: The Belfast Telegraph

Suggested Topics
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?