Mal O'Hara

Cllr Mal O’Hara says New Lodge violence drags us all back

Friday 09 August 2019

Green Party NI Cllr Malachai O’Hara commented on the disorder in the New Lodge and lower Antrim Road area over the past 48 hours:

Mal O’Hara said: “The people in control of this bonfire are dragging us all back to a place where we don’t want to be.

“I believe the location of the bonfire and its size represented a deliberate attempt to create friction with the police and an excuse for a night of disorder.

“Communities are entitled to mark significant points in time like the introduction of internment. 

“However, what happened in the New Lodge including stabbings and violence spilling out into other areas has brought nothing but shame to our area.

“It plays into the hands of people who would want to denigrate the working class communities of North Belfast.

“There is a wider problem with anti-social behaviour in the New Lodge and many young people have a contempt for any sense of law and order – they probably haven’t heard of the so called peace dividend let alone felt any benefit from it.

“I know the greater New Lodge community is strong and will regroup in the coming days. A score of young people manipulated by others can create mayhem within a community. I know, however that the people in the area are resilient. 

“I expect that elected representatives will come together with all statutory agencies and police to ensure that there is no repeat of this horrible incident.”     

ENDS  

Media contact 

Sinead McIvor – 07701 302 498

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