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Ballymoney
Friday, April 23, 2021

Assembly recalled early following several nights of riots
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The NI Assembly will be recalled early from their Easter break today, following several nights of riots across the provence.

The Executive are due to meet this morning at 10 before the rest of the MLAs meet an hour later.

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Tensions have continued to run high following the recent PPS decision not to prosecute anyone over COVID-19 breaches at the funeral of republican Bobby Storey.

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The violence continued in Belfast yesterday evening when a bus driver was forced from his vehicle which was later set alight.

As Police attempted to close gates at an interface, riots also broke out on both sides.

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The First and Deputy First Ministers both took to social media to condemn the violence.

Arlene Foster has said: “This is not protest. This is vandalism and attempted murder. These actions do not represent unionism or loyalism. They are an embarrassment to Northern Ireland and only serve to take the focus off the real lawbreakers in Sinn Fein.”

“My thoughts are with the bus driver.”

Michelle O’Neill tweeted: “The Executive will meet tomorrow morning to be briefed on the violence and street disorder which is causing huge distress in local communities at this time.

“Those involved in violence, criminal damage, manipulation of our young people and attacks on the police must stop.”

The Prime Minister also voiced his concern at the continuing violence, saying: “I am deeply concerned by the scenes of violence in Northern Ireland, especially attacks on PSNI who are protecting the public and businesses, attacks on a bus driver and the assault of a journalist.

“The way to resolve differences is through dialogue, not violence or criminality.”

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