| 10.8°C Dublin

PSNI release images in Belfast bonfire appeal

Close

Riot police and contractors remove wood from a bonfire in the Distillery Street area of west Belfast

Riot police and contractors remove wood from a bonfire in the Distillery Street area of west Belfast

Riot police and contractors remove wood from a bonfire in the Distillery Street area of west Belfast

Police have released images of people they wish to speak with in relation to disorder in west Belfast.

Trouble flared over the weekend as police moved to support contractors taking down an anti-internment bonfire at Distillery Street on Saturday, August 8.

Close

Police came under attack with petrol bombs, heavy masonry and vehicle parts with 29 officers injured, with three needing hospital treatment. Injuries ranged from concussion to back, head and neck injuries.

Sinn Fein condemned the attacks as "shocking and wrong".

Close

On Wednesday police released a number of images of individuals they wished to speak with in connection with the investigation.

Superintendent Melanie Jones said: “By releasing these images I am hopeful that either the individuals themselves will contact police directly or the wider community can help us identify them.

Close

“We are also aware of videos circulating relating to the disorder and are continuing to examine their contents.

“We are committed to identifying those involved in this significant disorder and we will be relentless in our pursuit in bringing offenders before the courts.

Close

“It is in everybody’s interest – as well as in the interest of justice - that those responsible are dealt with appropriately and I would urge anyone who may have any information to bring it forward to Police at Musgrave police station by calling the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous.”

On Sunday Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan confirmed the injured officers had all been discharged from hospital.

Close

He said it was a "disgraceful attack" on officers "who were simply doing their job, trying to support our partners in the community and ensuring that we kept people safe".

"Communities made it very clear they do not want and do not support internment bonfires in their areas," he said.

Close

He pledged to make arrests "soon".

Sinn Fein MP Paul Maskey added: "The incidents around Distillery Street at the weekend and the attacks on the PSNI were shocking, wrong and should not have happened.

"Agreements had been in place to resolve issues around the bonfire and those should have been allowed to proceed as planned.

"If people have concerns around any policing operation there are mechanisms and measures to address those; they will not be resolved thought the behaviour we saw at the weekend."

Belfast Telegraph