Ballykeel violence - ‘youths out of control’
LOCAL RESIDENTS have voiced their anger at the violence which took place in Ballykeel at intervals over the weekend.
On Sunday evening, some people had to evade burning bins and ‘rampaging youths’ as they made their way to worship at the localchurch. The service at Ballykeel Presbyterian Church was disrupted for at least 15 minutes on Sunday as public disorder made it difficult for residents to get to the service.
A local resident who did not want to be named told the Times that “there is a great deal of anger in the community at 20 or 30 young people who are out of control.”
Local Councillor Martin Clarke warned that the only victims of the violence was the local community. He said: “I was disappointed to hear that this violence prevented people going to Ballykeel Presbyterian Church. This is not Protestantism, this is hooliganism. These types of actions only hurt our own people and it hurts the people of Ballykeel.”
Clarke added: “People have the right to protest but they don’t have the right to throw petrol bombs or burn bins.
“I think that when it gets to the stage where it’s ten year old children out running the streets and causing a disturbance, the question has to be asked, where are the parents? Bins were taken and being burnt, many from private homes which means the owner has to pay for the replacement. If they are Housing Executive owned properties then they have to be provided, all this is a cost to the rate payer.
“I believe that the flag should be flying 365 days a year on the City Hall in Belfast but this sort of violence doesn’t help to get the flag back up. In Ballymena the flag flies from the Town hall, Ardeevin and Memorial Park every day of the year and it will stay that way.”
On Saturday evening, around 40- 50 persons gathered on the Larne Road link area and blocked the road with wooden pallets which were set alight. Police deployed and the crowd dispersed. Two vehicles were damaged during this incident.A 17 year old male was arrested and subsequently released pending report to the PPS.
On Sunday evening, 6 January, a small group of youths attacked police with a petrol bomb and other missiles in the Crebilly Road area.Where roads were blocked, police placed diversions in an effort to keep disruption to a minimum.
Where appropriate, warnings were given to protestors about the legal implications of blocking roads.
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Weather for Ballymena
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West