Friday saw the eighth night of riots in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, which, however, was quieter than the previous nights due to the call for calm by unionist leaders over the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. The riots were carried out by groups of young people who threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the police.
The death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the age of 99 gave a respite to stressed Northern Ireland, where unionist groups – in favor of remaining linked to London – have been causing riots in Belfast and other parts of the country for eight nights .
Unionist leaders on Friday called for calm on display for the late Duke of Edinburgh. In some streets you could even read posters with this request and remembering that the protests would resume once the national mourning ended after the duke’s funeral, which will take place next Saturday the 17th.
The fact that sparked the protests was the failure of the Sinn Fein Republicans to comply with the confinement measures to attend the burial of a former leader of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
However, the underlying reason lies in a post-Brexit agreement that unionists see as a departure from the United Kingdom and gives rise to the aspirations of Republicans to unite in one country with the Republic of Ireland.
Eighth night of riots calmer than previous nights
Despite the unionists’ call, on Friday night some groups – especially young people – again clashed with the police, at whom they threw stones and Molotov cocktails. Although the violence was of a lower intensity than previous nights, the police responded to these attacks with water cannons and rubber bullets.
Most of these clashes took place in the “loyalist” area of Tiger’s Bay, north of the Northern Irish capital, where a car was burned by protesters. The Northern Irish media also reported sporadic riots in the New Lodge area, also north of Belfast.
The superintendent of the PSNI, Muir Clarke, requested through Twitter, “calm” in the area and demanded that “anyone who has influence over the communities use it to make sure that young people do not fall into criminality and stay healthy and saved. “
With EFE, Reuters and AP