Northern Ireland assembly to be recalled over latest violence

Wednesday, April 7

(Photo: @fekitcba)

The Northern Ireland Assembly is to be recalled early from its Easter break on Thursday to discuss the latest outbreak of violence in some areas.

The successful petition tabled by the Alliance Party to bring MLAs back to the chamber has secured the required 30 signatures.

Forty-one police officers have been injured as a result of the violence in parts of Belfast and Derry, with ten arrests made to date.

PSNI detectives are also investigating parades in Portadown and Markethill on Monday.

First Minister Arlene Foster urged young people not to get a criminal record by getting involved in violence.

"I say to young people who are angry, do not get yourself a criminal record. It will blight your life for the rest of your life, you won't be able to go on holiday, so please, please desist from this violence.

"There is a better way, and the way is through politics," Mrs Foster said.

Asked about claims that political unionist rhetoric has inflamed tensions, Mrs Foster said it was as if "young people do not have the ability to think for themselves".

"Seriously, do we not think that people have a brain to think for themselves? They do of course."

She added: "You're hurting your own neighbourhoods, you're hurting your own communities and therefore you need to step back."