MLAs condemn Larne violence

MLAs condemned paramilitary disorder in Larne, on 31 March 2014.

A senior police officer blamed the loyalist Ulster Defence Association in south-east Antrim for a “rampage” in which 60 to 100 people, many of them masked, attacked homes in Sallagh Park.

One police officer and a resident were injured.

The matter of the day was brought by local Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson, who described the incident as “a sickening attack”.

He said that for too long there had been a sense that “certain individuals are untouchable”.

Mr Dickson called for support for the police.

Sammy Wilson of the DUP said that those who claimed to be the protectors of their communities were bringing the most damage.

He said there had been criticism of the police but “the finger must be clearly pointed at the criminals”.

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell said the scenes in Larne were “totally shocking and must be condemned without any qualification”.

Oliver McMullan of Sinn Fein said similar incidents were happening in Larne “on a regular basis”.

“You had grown men with sledgehammers chasing 15 year-old girls up the stairs,” he said.

Ulster Unionist Roy Beggs said there had been an attempted murder and serious assaults.

He said the incident had been an attack on the police and “an attack on this Assembly”.

Basil McCrea of NI21, Jim Allister of the TUV and John Dallat of the SDLP also condemned the incident.

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