The last few days have seen the return of serious street rioting, including the
firing of shots and baton rounds, and the use of petrol bombs in a number of
places across Northern Ireland. Parades and protests continue to create real
tensions which must now be addressed for the long term. CRC is convinced that
the wider public has no appetite for a return to this sort of violence, and
urges all those involved to stop before they set us down a path which we will
Duncan Morrow, Chief Executive of the Community Relations Council, says:
"Our thoughts are with all those affected by violence, particularly those directly injured and their families. We are also thinking of all those living in fear as a result of these disturbances.
Further violence has no purpose except to take us back into direct confrontation. Violence around parades and protests is not new, but it is deeply damaging and without any serious constructive purpose. It undermines the goodwill that has been so painfully built up over many years and it leaves deep scars in local communities. Above all, it undermines the economic future of people across Northern Ireland. It is vitally important that we build a new culture of real tolerance and openness, in which the celebrations of some are not interpreted as the triumphalism over others and in which tolerance and generosity are the dominant themes.
Sectarianism and division remain deep and lasting issues here. We should not be diverted from the clear requirement to bring final closure to the disputes which divide us. Parading and protests are but the most obvious issues. But for serious progress to be made on these issues we need a deeper determination to tackle sectarianism and build a shared and better future together. The alternative is cannot be contemplated. "
For further information contact Patricia O’Neill 90-227500