Mitchell calls for end to Drumcree protest

A LOCAL Councillor has called on the people of East Belfast to end their protests in support of the Orangemen at Drumcree.

Alliance Councillor Patrick Mitchell – who is a member of Castlereagh Borough Council – issued the plea after expressing concern at the “terrible” July holidays.

The Castlereagh Councillor said:

“The recent July holidays must never again turn out like this. We have had roads blocked, flaming barricades, buses stolen and people driven from their homes.

“The people of East Belfast have a right to protest but many people in this area have been intimidated.

“I think it is time for us to end the senseless damage we have inflicted upon ourselves and the people of this area must also express their outrage at last weekend’s horrific murders in Ballymoney.”

The Castlereagh Councillor, speaking as the Drumcree stand-off entered its tenth day, also said that thousands of pounds worth of damage had been caused to premises in East Belfast.

“We had the burning of the car showroom at the Beersbridge Road and homeless people evicted from the hostel in the Newtownards Road last week.

“Many livelihoods have been destroyed but I would like to thank the police who have thwarted the efforts of organised terrorists on different occasions. It is clear that we owe them a great deal.

“After the triple murder last weekend, it is now time for the rule of law to prevail. We must give deep thought to how we can drive out hatred, bigotry and savagery from our society. It is clear that only way forward is through dialogue,” he said.

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