Dublin, Ireland – Rioting engulfed the Short Strand district of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Tuesday night, as pro-British loyalists and Irish republican residents of the area clashed for the second consecutive day.
Local police said that as many as 400 people participated in the violence and that a news photographer was wounded in a shooting in one of Belfast’s most tense neighborhoods. In an effort to break up the fights, police fired at least 66 plastic bullets but made only one arrest: a young woman was detained on suspicion of possession of a firearm and assaulting police.
While police and locals blamed the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) for sparking the violence on Monday and being involved in fighting last night, an unnamed dissident republican splinter group may be equally to blame in Tuesday’s melee.
The title of the article reads: “Belfast Riots Renew Calls for Protestand-Catholic Dialogue.” That sounds awfully optimistic; I’m afraid this could be Protestant-Catholic dialogue.
On the good side, when it comes to monologues, nobody beats the Irish. Alistair Finlay, Belfast’s assistant chief constable, told the Daily Mail: “[The Ulster Volunteer Force's] hands are upon this, whether by direction by omission or commission.”
Can you imagine an American cop coming out with a quote like that on the best day of his life? Me neither.
Video of youth assaulting a police van: