Emeute à Rathcoole – 25 octobre 2010

Rioting in loyalist Rathcoole ‘serious’ say police


26 October 2010

Police were faced with a « serious » rioting situation in Newtownabbey involving more than 200 youths on Monday, a detective has said.

A bus and at least six cars were burnt out and stones thrown at police vehicles in the Rathcoole estate after trouble broke out at about 2030 BST.

It followed a number of earlier police raids in the mainly loyalist area.

A policeman rejected claims the raids were heavy-handed, saying there was « no sense or reason for the violence ».

Chief Superintendent Henry Irvine said: « Whenever the PSNI are caryring out searches and going about their lawful business, there’s no reason for this reaction. »

Ken Wilkinson, a representative of the UVF-linked Progressive Unionist Party, said he understood the trouble was linked to three searches in the area over the past two days by officers from the Historical Enquiries Team, which investigates unsolved murders from during the Troubles.

He said that « the way a lot of these searches were carried out leaves a lot to be desired », adding that one of the houses raided belonged to a lady in bad health.

However, Chief Supt Irvine said he rejected « any suggestion that police officers operated anything other than professionally ».

He said detectives had recovered drugs during the searches. A 34-year old arrested in connection with the find of suspected cannabis was later released pending further enquiries.

« It’s a sad reflection on any community where police can’t go about their business without being attacked like this, » he said.

Police said they worked with community representatives to restore calm to the area by 2230 BST.

Bus torched in Newtownabbey riot


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A bus was set alight as serious disorder broke out on the streets of Newtownabbey last night.

A car was also hijacked as a mob of around 100 people gathered close to the O’Neill Road area of the town. Three other vehicles were later seized nearby.

Police went to the scene, where they attempted to restore order. Youths threw stones at the approaching police vehicles.

Motorists were warned to stay away from the area while officers dealt with the trouble. Road closures were eventually removed shortly after midnight.

It is the latest outbreak of trouble in east Antrim following serious disorder in Carrickfergus and Ballyclare two weeks ago.

Alderman Paula Bradley, the mayor of Newtownabbey, condemned the rioting.

“This violence is an absolute disgrace,” she said. “We are in a time of cutbacks and yet you have people going out burning cars and buses. A minority of people are causing havoc and it’s the whole community who suffers.”

Ms Bradley said the trouble may be linked to police activity in the area earlier this month.

Two weeks ago, loyalist paramilitaries orchestrated a night of violence in the area which left two officers injured. A female officer was hurt in Carrickfergus when her vehicle was attacked by a gang of up to 25 men wielding bats.

There was also trouble in Eden where youths blocked the road.

A PSNI spokesman said: « Police will continue to investigate the incidents and identify those involved. »

Bus driver beaten during Rathcoole riot


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A bus driver was trailed from his vehicle and attacked during rioting in Newtownabbey on Monday night.

Petrol bombs were also thrown and six cars were hijacked during the trouble, which last for almost four hours.

Unite union representative Michael Dornan has threatened to end the bus services in Newtownabbey because of the disturbances.

« It was a sinister, callous and brutal attack, carried out on a person carrying out his work.

« These people boarded the bus and poured petrol inside. They then trailed him off the bus and beat him, » he told UTV.

The trouble erupted when a large crowed gathered at O’Neill Road, near the Rathcoole estate at around 8.30pm.

Petrol bombs were thrown at police and a number of PSNI landrovers were damaged.

Several cars and a bus were hijacked.

A PSNI spokesperson said searches were carried out in the Rathcoole area on Monday and a 34 year-old man was arrested and later released.

Suspected cannabis was seized during the raids.

Ulster Unionist MLA for the area Basil McCrea said around 250 people were involved in the disorder.

« Attacks on vulnerable groups in the local estates and the rioting in general are completely unacceptable and should be condemned by all.

« Those with influence in these areas should explain the damage it does to the local community in particular and our society as a whole.

« Who will invest in these areas now and who will replace the burnt out bus? » Mr McCrea said.

Alliance councillor for Newtownabbey described the trouble as despicable.

« We need calm in the area to allow people to get on with their lives free from disruption and fear. It’s despicable that a small number of people can bring themselves to wreak havoc in their local community.

« Those behind this trouble must be caught and I appeal to anyone with information on last night’s events to contact police immediately. »

The PSNI say they are working to identify those involved in the riots.

The area was reported to be calm at around 1am on Tuesday morning after police worked with community representatives.


Newtownabbey is a large suburb north of Belfast in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is separated from the rest of Belfast by Cavehill and Fortwilliam golf course. Newtownabbey Urban Area covers most of the parish of Carnmoney. It includes the one-time villages, townlands and/or housing estates of Ballyduff, Ballyhenry, Carnmoney, Glengormley, Jordanstown, Monkstown, Rathcoole and Whiteabbey, among others (full list). Overall Newtownabbey Urban Area had a population of 62,056 people in the 2001 Census. It is within the Newtownabbey Borough Council area.

~ par Alain Bertho sur 26 octobre 2010.

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