Speaking after Loyalist rioting and the burning of a Bus on the streets of Belfast last night Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD stated;

“The shocking scenes of loyalist violence on Belfast streets are as a result of the DUP ratcheting up tensions in the north. Arlene Foster’s rhetoric lit the fuse. She is in large part responsible for the Riots. There is a blatant hypocrisy in the DUP trying to distance themselves from the rioting in recent days. Some Nationalist areas are already starting to feel vulnerable. Aontú Derry and Strabane Cllr Emmet Doyle was himself travelling in a taxi that came under attack in Derry two nights ago. Its clear that that if the violence continues there will be further injury and possibly loss of life”.

“Since January senior DUP politicians were warning of violence on the streets if the Irish Sea border was not assigned to the scrap heap. Many in the Nationalist communities saw these statements as veiled threats. The DUP then met with the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) in February. The LCC represents groups including the UVF, UDA and Red Hand Commando. That illegal terrorist organisations would have such easy access to the head of government in any democratic state is absolutely incredible”.

“In terms of the outworkings of Brexit, the DUP has made strategic blunder after strategic blunder over the last few years and their actions have led to weakening of the Union with Britain. It seems to many that the DUP are looking for some one to blame and have set the Chief Constable of the PSNI in their sights. They have accused the Chief Constable of being politically and community biased. They are too long in politics in the north not to have known that this allegation would have incendiary consequences. They are too long in politics in the north not to understand that Loyalists on the streets would not differentiate between the Chief Constable and rank and file officers. The DUP must do all in their power to deescalate the situation on the ground”.