Catholic rioters attack police due to Protestant march in Ireland
Catholic rioters attacked recently police in Northern Ireland, throwing bombs, hijacking and torching vehicles, and causing a general melee in Londonderry, Ireland. No serious injuries were reported.
The rioting sprung from tensions amid an annual Protestant parade that was held in the Catholic-majority city. The parade commemorates the anniversary of the 17th century victory over Irish Catholic Forces who had laid siege to Protestants in the city.
Four masked men hijacked a Royal Mail postal van, tossed bombs inside the vehicle and then sped away. Other cars were torched and explosives were lobbed at police officers in the city center.
“A pipe bomb-type device was thrown at officers in the area of Free Derry Corner some time before 7:00 p.m.,” a spokeswoman told the AFP. “It exploded. However, there were no injuries or damage to property.”
Two cars were hijacked. In one instance, the spokeswoman told the AFP, “A woman and her daughter were pulled from the vehicle [by masked men on Creggan street]. [Another] car was set alight in Fahan Street around 5:15 p.m. and a van hijacked on Lecky road.”
A number of bombs were also lobbed at Land Rovers belonging to police, and at the Memorial Hall.
The violence ensued after a generally peaceful parade, as some 15,000 people from the British Protestant brotherhood, Apprentice Boys of Derry, marched through Londonderry, with 140 bands playing.
This is something that they do every year, and normally it leads to unrest from Irish republican extremists. They were celebrating the 17th century victory of the military over Irish Catholic forces after a 105-day siege was laid on the Protestants living in the city.
Traditionally, the Irish republican extremists are stirred to riot because of the parade and festivities. Hours before the march, Molotov cocktails were tossed at the headquarters of the Apprentice Boys, causing light damage.
There were also scuffles with the police along the fringe of the parade, by supporters of splinter groups from the Irish Republican Army. Nine Molotov cocktails were seized by police.
Past incidents of violence
The riots last Saturday were preceded the night before by unrest in northwestern Northern Ireland, along the border. Four men were arrested, namely a 32-year-old man for resisting arrest, a 24-year-old-man for possession of a fire bomb and assault, and two men (aged 18 and 19) for disorderly behavior.
They will appear on Sept. 9 before the Derry Magistrates Court.
Earlier, the U.K.had just experienced its nastiest rioting in decades. The melee began last Saturday in North London, then spread out to eight other areas, including outside of London. (See http://theundergroundsite.com/index.php/2011/08/anarchy-in-the-uk-christians-call-for-practical-action-in-aftermath-of-riots-16960/).
Last month, amid annual parades in Northern Ireland by the Orange Order, another major Protestant group, clashes ensued for two nights before and after the parade. Police responded with water cannons and plastic bullets, and 40 were injured.