Bishop should not give a rationale for rioters - Campbell

15 July 2018

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said,

Gregory Campbell MP

DUP Spokesman on International Development and Cabinet Office

Gregory Campbell

"There have been serious disturbances, not just in parts of Londonderry but at other locations in Northern Ireland also. There is no justification for any such violence.

The most sustained trouble was in the Bogside. Rioters tried to attack residents in the Fountain estate as well as the Police. The attacks on the Police continued over six consecutive nights. There were scores of petrol bombs thrown and on one occasion live rounds were fired.

Bishop Donal McKeown has on two separate occasions while condemning the rioters, made references to 'not demonising' those carrying out the attacks and to 'their disadvantages'. 

Many people who are law abiding and raising families, despite lots of disadvantages, are deeply concerned at the Bishop’s comments which however well meaning could be interpreted as a rationale for rioters.

Right across the community, we need to continue to attract investment for people irrespective of where they live or what background they are from. At the same time, we must give no grounds whatsoever for a belief that law breakers have cover from someone trying to explain their motives in a way they can take justification from."

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