NPR : News

Filed Under:

Protestants, Catholics Clash In Belfast; Dozens Hurt

A confrontation between Protestants and Catholics in Belfast, Northern Ireland, erupted into violence overnight, injuring 56 police officers and two civilians.

"Belfast's main shopping district was turned into a battlefield last night as thousands of loyalists clashed with riot police to prevent a republican dissident rally passing down the city's main thoroughfare," The Guardian writes.

Police say the clashes began when Protestant mobs tried to block a march by supporters of the Irish Republican Army.

The Independent reports:

"The protesters hurled bricks, bottles and fireworks at police before the parade arrived. Some cars were set on fire in the North Street area, and shops were damaged.

Police used rubber bullets, water cannon and dogs to control the crowds, which prevented the parade from passing as planned along Royal Avenue - one of the city's main shopping areas, near City Hall. Five of the injured officers needed hospital treatment."

Chief Constable Matt Baggott vowed to arrest those responsible, accusing the Protestants of "mindless anarchy and sheer thuggery."

At a Belfast news conference on Saturday, Baggott vowed that the prison population would soon be "bulging" as detectives used video footage to identify rioters.

Reuters writes:

"The Catholic parade, marking the anniversary of the 1971 introduction of internment without trial by British authorities, eventually had to pass along a different route.

"Forty-two years ago, soldiers swept into Catholic districts and arrested more than 340 people as the British government sought to halt growing Irish Republican Army (IRA) violence aimed at extinguishing rule from London.

"In all, more than 3,600 people died in a sectarian conflict that began in the late 1960s, including more than 1,000 members of the British security forces. More than 36,000 were injured."

Britain's minister for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, said in a statement, that Friday's night's violence was "shameful".

"Disorder on the streets is a hugely regrettable step backwards," she said.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


From 'Unproud' To 'Hombre,' Election 2016 Is Testing Our Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster noticed the number of unique words coming out of this campaign, and has been using Twitter to report the most searchable words. Lexicographer Peter Sokolowski talks to Rachel Martin.

A History Of Election Cake And Why Bakers Want To #MakeAmericaCakeAgain

Bakers Susannah Gebhart and Maia Surdam are reviving election cake: a boozy, dense fruitcake that was a way for women to participate in the democratic process before they had the right to vote.

Republican And Trump Critic Ana Navarro Speaks On Election

Ana Navarro has become a standard bearer for Republican women repudiating Donald Trump. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with the GOP strategist about her view of the election, which is only 16 days away.

The Next Generation Of Local, Low-Power FM Stations Expands In Urban Areas

The next wave of low power FM stations is coming on the air. Initially restricted to rural areas because of interference concerns, nearly 2,000 new stations have been approved — many in urban areas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.