Republican leader Martin McGuinness has branded the Orange Order a ‘disgrace’ after another night of violence in Northern Ireland.
Petrol bombs were again fired at police by loyalist thugs as disturbances broke out again on Saturday night in the wake of the annual 12th of July celebrations.
Nationalist politician McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s deputy prime-minister, has blamed the Orange Order for provoking the violence across the North.
He spoke out after British parliament member Nigel Dodds was injured in his North Belfast constituency and police claimed they were attacked by youths brandishing ceremonial swords.
Dodds was taken to hospital in an ambulance after he was hit on the head with a missile which had been thrown at police lines by a loyalist rioter.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness tweeted: “Responsibility for tonight’s violent attacks on police and the community rests with the leadership of the Orange Order, they are a disgrace.”
MLA Conall McDevitt, from the SDLP party, also tweeted: “We need to hear the leaders of unionism and loyal orders call the people off the streets.”
Northern Ireland’s loyalist First Minister Peter Robinson also appealed for calm and blamed the Parades Commission for the latest outbreaks.
He said: “Violence and attacks on the PSNI (police) and wider community are wrong, can never be justified and must stop. While there is justifiable anger and frustration at the Parades Commission, who bear much responsibility for the situation in Belfast, as do those who attacked parades as they passed certain locations, nonetheless, those who are using the cover of protest to attack the police are massively damaging the cause they support.
“Violence is undermining a just cause and runs totally against the wishes of the Orange Order for protest to be entirely peaceful.
“My thoughts are with those who have been injured including my colleague Nigel Dodds MP and other Orange Order members, police officers and civilians. I appeal for cool heads to prevail at this time.”
The Belfast Telegraph newspaper reports that the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has called for an end to the violence.