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orchestrated riots South East Antrim UDA 'piggy-backing' onto loyalist anger after members scooped by cops and NCA

Violence in Newtownabbey comes after arrests linked to SEA UDA

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PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 06/04/2021
There have been trouble on North Road  Carrickfergus into the early hours of Tuesday Morning, in another night  disturbances.   
Pic Pacemaker

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 06/04/2021 There have been trouble on North Road Carrickfergus into the early hours of Tuesday Morning, in another night disturbances. Pic Pacemaker

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 06/04/2021 There have been trouble on North Road Carrickfergus into the early hours of Tuesday Morning, in another night disturbances. Pic Pacemaker

South East Antrim UDA (SEA UDA) have “hi-jacked” loyalist anger over the Northern Ireland protocol and the Bobby Storey funeral to hit back at police over the recent arrests of their own members, it is understood.

The most recent disturbances follow a week of unrest in Northern Ireland following the decision of the PPS not to prosecute members of Sinn Fein who attended the funeral of republican Bobby Storey last summer in what was alleged to have been a breach of coronavirus regulations.

There has also been serious disquiet surrounding the Northern Ireland protocol implemented as part of Brexit which many argue has put a virtual border in the middle of the Irish Sea seeing goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK having to undergo various checks.

Now sources have said SEA UDA have harnessed “legitimate” loyalist anger to orchestrate disorder in Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus over the weekend after the recent crackdown on the paramilitary gang by the PSNI and the National Crime Agency.

Two weeks ago four men were charged with conspiring to possess class A drugs as part of a Paramilitary Crime Task Force investigation into the organised crime activities of SEA UDA.

Last night police were attacked yet again as more rioting broke out in Northern Ireland during fresh violence.

During the course of the weekend 32 police officers were injured, with one sustaining serious leg injuries.

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PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 06/04/2021
There have been trouble on North Road  Carrickfergus into the early hours of Tuesday Morning, in another night  disturbances.   
Pic Pacemaker

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 06/04/2021 There have been trouble on North Road Carrickfergus into the early hours of Tuesday Morning, in another night disturbances. Pic Pacemaker

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 06/04/2021 There have been trouble on North Road Carrickfergus into the early hours of Tuesday Morning, in another night disturbances. Pic Pacemaker

Some of the most heated violence took place in Newtownabbey at the foot of the Rathcoole estate, one of SEA UDA’s major strongholds.

In another of the paramilitary gang’s bastion areas, Carrickfergus, crowds of youths also took to the street.

A fire was lit in the North Road area of the town, blocking the thoroughfare, while petrol bombs were thrown at police.

One SEA source told the Sunday World the leaders of the group have “piggy-backed” onto the anger felt in loyalist communities over the Irish Sea border and the PSS’ decision not to prosecute Sinn Fein leaders over the republican funeral last year.

The source added: “There is anger over the Irish Sea border and the mess the PSNI and the PPS have made over the Sinn Fein funeral, which is completely justified as far as any self-respecting loyalist is concerned, because we now quite rightly feel that we’re below the law while others are above it.

"But South East Antrim are using that anger to shoehorn their own agenda in there, which is them just trying to get the police for lifting a load of their own members. It’s a 'you take some of ours and we’ll take some of yours' situation."

It has also been reported that UDA members may have contacted businesses in the Newtownabbey area over the weekend to warn them to close early ahead of the rioting.

Disturbances also continued in Derry over the weekend, while in Portadown yesterday, videos began circulating on social media of what the police have described as an “un-notified” parade taking place.

A loyalist band was seen marching through the town centre accompanied by a large group of men, in a parade which hadn’t been declared to the Parades Commission.

In Derry's Sperrin Way area last night a car was set alight where a group of youths had gathered.

Last week there was violence on the streets of Derry on successive nights and there were reports that children as young as 12 were involved in disturbances in the city.

Following yesterday's violence the PSNI’s Chief Superintendent Davy Beck appealed to those causing the trouble, saying that there is an "opportunity to stop this".

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PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 06/04/2021
There have been trouble on North Road  Carrickfergus into the early hours of Tuesday Morning, in another night  disturbances.   
Pic Pacemaker

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 06/04/2021 There have been trouble on North Road Carrickfergus into the early hours of Tuesday Morning, in another night disturbances. Pic Pacemaker

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 06/04/2021 There have been trouble on North Road Carrickfergus into the early hours of Tuesday Morning, in another night disturbances. Pic Pacemaker

He added: "I would encourage people with influence in those communities to put a stop to this."

In reference to reports that some of the violence may have been orchestrated as a response to senior loyalists being arrested recently, a PSNI spokesperson said: "I believe that there is a small group of disaffected criminal elements that are clearly involved in influencing young people, and I would appeal to young people in those areas not to allow this to happen.

"I think it's also fair to say that there is probably no coincidence to this. We have been successful in that area in respect of some of these criminal gangs. So I think that this perhaps has been a reaction to some of those people who are involved in criminality."

The alleged involvement of SEA UDA in the Newtownabbey violence was slammed by Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie, who took to Twitter describing the organisation as “drug dealers” that “control that part of Newtownabbey”.

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