Sunday Life

Cops to swoop on riot ringleaders

22 August 2004

POLICE are playing a waiting game before swooping on the homes of up to a dozen suspected ringleaders behind riots that engulfed the Catholic Ardoyne area on the Twelfth.

So far, only one man has appeared in court in connection with the worst street disturbances witnessed in the north of the city this year.

But police made it clear last night that the investigation into the July 12 riots is "very much alive".

Twenty-five police officers and two soldiers were injured during clashes with nationalists, after Orangemen and supporters were allowed along the bitterly contested route at Ardoyne shops, on their return from the 'Field'.

At one stage, a crowd wielding plundered military batons and shields attacked a group of Paras deployed to provide back up for police.

Vicious hand-to-hand fighting took place, as youths stole military equipment - including flak jackets, an Army radio and personal items - from Land Rovers.

Documents, described as "significant", were also looted.

Sinn Fein MLA, Gerry Kelly, sustained a fractured wrist as he, and a number of top Provos, urged calm and attempted to form a barrier between the rioters and members of the security forces.

One senior detective told Sunday Life: "We were able identify many of those involved from CCTV cameras and video footage.

"Indeed, very few were wearing masks or attempting to conceal their identity.

"Quite a few of those involved would appear to have embarked on extended holidays, in the immediate aftermath of these disturbances.

"They probably believe in the old adage, 'out of sight, out of mind'.

"But the public can rest assured that more prosecutions will follow, in due course."

Meanwhile, the north and west Belfast Parades Forum has confirmed that it will engage in talks with nationalist residents to discuss future Orange Order parades.

The forum includes both Orangemen and paramilitary spokesmen.

hi there i think the british the irish goverment and the sinn fein set michael mc kivett up they seen wat was coming and didnt want no part in it he and many others like him r the republican force that is going to drive the british state to its knees. sinn fein had the so call peace process going from the 80ts when they sarafice those volunteers at loughgall they seen that vol: jim lynagh an the other 7 volunteers seen the path adams was taken a surrender to the brits even then the were going to break away from the leadership. its a money thing now to them but us true republican it means nothing we are and always will be the republican army.
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