Q Radio News/PA
Police have come under attack as violence flared during another night of sporadic disorder in parts of Northern Ireland.
Petrol bombs and bricks were thrown at officers in loyalist areas in Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus on Sunday night.
It was the second night in a row that trouble broke out at the Cloughfern roundabout in Newtownabbey on the outskirts of Belfast, although the violence was not as prolonged as on Saturday night.
Riot police move into the Rathcoole estate, Newtownabbey, along a laneway used moments earlier by a group of masked men following disturbances at the Cloughfern roundabout for a second night running.— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) April 4, 2021
Pics: Photopress. pic.twitter.com/vigkWxhcSs
There was also disorder in the North Road area of nearby Carrickfergus on Sunday night.
Again, there were reports of petrol bombs being fired at police.
Trouble flares in Carrickfergus— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) April 4, 2021
Two burning bins are blocking the North Road
Police are at the scene. pic.twitter.com/qvrbeXe0e8
On Saturday, 30 petrol bombs were thrown at officers in Newtownabbey in what police described as an “orchestrated attack”.
Rioting and hijackings tonight in the Rathcoole area of Newtownabbey. Pics: Photopress. pic.twitter.com/PZfyiiqBkz— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) April 3, 2021
🎥 Trouble flares, Newtownabbey. Police Federation - "What is the point in this? Destroying your own communities is not the way to protest or vent. Why is it always our @PoliceServiceNI colleagues who face the brunt of this pointless violence?" pic.twitter.com/s5pTttPC9n— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) April 3, 2021
On Friday, there were violent scenes in the Sandy Row area of Belfast as well.
🎥 Police are pelted with missiles including petrol bombs and fireworks during disturbances in south Belfast. pic.twitter.com/yGZIaJQ2vA— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) April 2, 2021
While in Derry/Londonderry, police have been subjected to sustained attacks across several nights in the last week in loyalist areas of the Waterside part of the city.
Some 27 police officers were injured on Friday night across Belfast and the North West.
Tensions have soared within the loyalist community in recent months over post-Brexit trading arrangements which have been claimed to have created barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
Anger ramped up further last week following a controversial decision not to prosecute 24 Sinn Fein politicians for attending a large-scale republican funeral during Covid-19 restrictions.
All the main unionist parties have demanded the resignation of PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne, claiming he has lost the confidence of their community.
Meanwhile in Co Antrim, a recent series of drug seizures against the South East Antrim UDA – a renegade faction of the main grouping – have caused particular ill-feeling towards police.
The faction is believed to have been behind some of the weekend disturbances.
Earlier on Sunday, the PSNI’s North Area Commander Chief Superintendent Davy Beck said 30 petrol bombs were thrown at officers and three cars set alight in Newtownabbey on Saturday.
Mr Beck said it was an “orchestrated attack on police”.
“We are living in unprecedented times, dealing with a global pandemic, no-one needs the added pressure of disorder in their community,” he said.
“I would appeal to those who are taking to the streets to stop immediately, their actions are causing nothing but harm and distress to the very communities they claim they are representing.”
On Sunday evening the PSNI announced that a 47-year-old man has been charged in connection with rioting, and throwing a petrol bomb in Newtownabbey on Saturday.
He is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Monday April 26.
Seven people had already been charged after the disturbances in the Sandy Row area, with four adults – three men aged 25, 21 and 18 years old, and a woman aged 19 – charged with riot.
All four are due to appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on April 30.
Three teenagers, aged 17, 14 and 13, have also been charged with riot and are due to appear at Belfast Youth Court on April 30.
PSNI: Seven people - including two aged 13 and 14 - have been charged following disorder in the Sandy Row area of south Belfast: pic.twitter.com/VthHF5WQ7w— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) April 3, 2021