Mary Lou McDonald Calls For Calm In Northern Ireland Amid Another Night Of Violence

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Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has called for calm in Northern Ireland following another night of disorder in which police used water cannon to drive back rioters in west Belfast.

She said loyalist violence has been deliberately planned to stoke up maximum tensions and called on unionist politicians to show “enlightened leadership” and to call off protests planned for this weekend. Speaking earlier today she said that “now is a time for leadership among unionists and loyalism … violence is not the answer for anyone, this is disastrous for communities and young people”.

Last night Police in Belfast used water cannon for the first time in six years to drive back rioters during trouble for a second consecutive evening on both sides of a security gate that divides loyalist and nationalist areas in west Belfast. Groups of community activists were seen attempting to prevent access to the gate of the peace line where clashes took place on Wednesday.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said yesterday that the Biden Administration  was concerned by the violence in Northern Ireland and we join the British, Irish and Northern Irish leaders in their calls for calm.