Northern Ireland news

Concerns raised after missiles thrown in east Belfast over two consecutive nights

Paint bombs were thrown in the Short Strand area of east Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

CONCERNS have been raised about heightened tensions in east Belfast after missiles were thrown into a nationalist enclave over two consecutive nights.

Bricks, bottles and paint bombs were hurled into the Clandeboye area of Short Strand, as well as Bryson Street and Mountpottinger Street.

One Short Strand resident, who did not want to be named, said he lives in fear when disorder escalates in the area.

"It's this time of the year, I don't sleep upstairs when all this is going on," he said.

"I sleep downstairs so I can get out quick in case petrol bombs are thrown.

Missiles have been thrown over the next two nights. Picture by Mal McCann

"On Sunday night, bricks and bottles were thrown, then the same on Monday and paint bombs and fireworks, I thought it was a pipe bomb thrown at my house when they went off.

"There was stuff thrown into the front and back of my house and it's kids doing it, they were about 14."

Sinn Féin east Belfast representative Mairead Ó Donnell said: "This is the second night in a row where residents in Clandeboye in the Short Strand have experienced attacks on their homes.

"Last night Bryson Street residents experienced similar incidents and a number of cars were damaged as a result. All and any public disorder along the interface is wrong and unjustifiable regardless of the source."

Damien Campbell with his son Cormac (3) beside one of paint bombs that were thrown into the Clandeboye area of Short Strand.Picture by Mal McCann

She said she recently met with police following concerns about the increase in young people gathering at the interface "as a result of prearranged fights being organised".

"Following the past few nights it is now a matter of urgency that the PSNI provide adequate resources to police the interface and ensure the safety of residents and their homes."

PUP councillor John Kyle said the authorities need to "take action as soon as possible".

Paint bombs were thrown in the Short Strand area of east Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

"There have been confrontations off and on in this area, it's an annual occurrence with the longer nights and the school holidays," he said.

"The police and street reach teams are aware of it. It's a difficult issue at this time of year, which is why we have to try and take action as soon as possible."

Police said they had "allocated additional resources to the area" following reports of anti-social behaviour.

"The dangerous actions of a small number of young people need to stop and I am appealing to their parents and guardians," said a PSNI spokesman.

Paint bombs were thrown in the Short Strand area of east Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

"The consequences of this behaviour has a significant impact on the lives of all those living in the community and runs the real risk of a criminal record for the young persons involved.

"We have allocated additional resources to the area and this will continue as we work with everyone in the community to address this issue.

"We will continue to respond to reports of antisocial behaviour. Local police along with support from our colleagues in Operational Support Department will be focusing on the area in the coming days."

Council workers clear up after paint bomb attacks on the Mountpottinger Road in the Short Strand area. Picture by Mal McCann

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