Petrol bomb thrown at bonfire crowd in Edgarstown - Causby
A PETROL bomb was thrown at crowds who gathered at the 11th night bonfire in Edgarstown, a DUP councillor has claimed.
The attack was part of disorder which took place in Portadown over the Twelfth period. While not on the scale of last year, seven petrol bombs were thrown at police officers in the Obins Street area on July 11.
A 49-year-old man was arrested and charged with riotous behaviour. He appeared at Lisburn Magistrates Court on Monday. Fencing at Portadown Railway Station was also set on fire in an attempt to lure police into the area.
Mr Causby told Monday’s meeting of Craigavon Borough Council that the incident at Edgarstown happened as the crowd dispersed following a peaceful evening. The DUP man, who was present at the time, claimed the petrol bomb had been thrown from the direction of the “interface area”. He praised those in attendance for showing “restraint” despite provocation.
“I have to commend those attending for showing restraint. This was a family-friendly event,” he said. “I was aware that on the Garvaghy Road a number of items were burnt and left in the middle of the road. One has to ask where are the police in all of this.
“I know they (the police) were diverting the traffic away from the area. But I think there is a need for police to be more proactive.”
Sinn Fein Councillor Johnny McGibbon said that while he “condemned violence on whatever side”, he took issue with the description of a “family-friendly bonfire”.
“(The July 12) weekend highlighted the issues we have and it’s nothing new,” he said. “I’m not saying that all bonfires are not family-friendly but there have been bonfires where a poster of party colleague John O’Dowd and football jerseys have been burned.
“These bonfires are not family-friendly and are sectarian in nature.”
Mr McGibbon also called on unionist council members to condemn bonfires in their entirety.
Councillor Kenneth Twyble (UUP) then interjected by stressing that in contrast to last year’s scenes of public disorder in the Craigwell Avenue area, when there was an angry stand-off between nationalists and police following the attack of three homes belonging to foreign nationals by a mob, this July period was “infinitely better”.
“I would praise the restraint shown by both sides (during the period),” he added.
The efforts of community representatives in calming tensions were praised by a number of members, including councillors Twyble, McGibbon and Joe Nelson.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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