Northern Ireland Executive to meet after another night of violence

Thursday, April 8

(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The Northern Ireland Executive will reconvene today for an emergency meeting to discuss the ongoing street violence in Belfast.

Last night a bus was hijacked and set on fire, petrol bombs were thrown, and a press photographer was attacked.


Clashes also erupted between loyalists and nationalists at the peace wall linking the Shankill and Springfield Roads.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the violence and said the scenes "deeply concerned" him.

In a tweet Minister Arlene Foster said those rioting were an "embarrassment to Northern Ireland".

But she also said Sinn Fein were the "real lawbreakers" - a reference to the ongoing Bobby Storey funeral row.

And Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill tweeted that the "violence and street disorder" was causing "huge distress in local communities at this time."

She said "those involved in violence, criminal damage, manipulation of our young people and attacks on the police must stop."

The MLAs are due to return to the Assembly to discuss a motion condemning the violence after more than 40 PSNI officers were injured in disorder over recent nights.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has condemned the violence, saying the only way forward is to address issues of concern through peaceful and democratic means.