Northern Ireland sees further night of violence despite calls for calm following Prince Phillip’s death

The death of Prince Phillip on Friday failed to prevent the eighth straight night of rioting in Northern Ireland.

Prominent loyalist politicians and activists called for rioters to remain at home to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Jim Allister, party leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice party, said: “It would also be appropriate, at this time of national mourning, for those rightly proud of their loyalty to the Crown to cease demonstrations.” 

Alongside these demands, loyalist activists laid signs calling for protests to be postponed at the intersection between loyalist and republican roads at Lanark Way.

Ireland correspondent for Sky News, Stephen Murphy, said: “Some of those with posters are very serious men. Their words carry weight here, and for the most part, the more hot-headed teenagers who had been protesting – or rioting – stayed home tonight.” 

Despite these calls, Friday saw a further 14 police officers injured in street clashes – taking the total number of injured service people to 88 – as they were pelted with petrol bombs and other debris thrown by rioters.

Three 14-year-old teenagers were arrested during the clashes last night, as violence continues to flare in what is being dubbed the worst rioting Northern Ireland has seen in years.

Although Friday marked another violent night, commentators believe Phillip’s passing went some way in preventing the excesses of violence witnessed on previous nights. 

Speaking ahead of last night’s demonstrations, News Letter political editor Sam McBride, said: “The death of Prince Philip is likely to be far more significant in curtailing violence on Northern Ireland’s streets than all the many words of condemnation from NI’s politicians & others.”

Trouble arising from the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol and sectarian anger at the Public Prosecution Service’s decision not to prosecute those who attended the funeral of former IRA member, Bobby Storey in June 2020 for breaking Covid-19 regulations continue to set the backdrop for these heightened street clashes. 

Related Articles