Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Ardoyne riot accused in court

Nine men accused of taking part in rioting in Ardoyne last summer are to stand trial.  During the violence, which took place on the evening of 12 July 2012, dissident republicans attacked the PSNI with missiles and petrol bombs and burned a car.  At one point a gunman appeared and fired a number of shots at PSNI officers. 
According to newspaper reports the following people appeared in court:
  • Martin Faulkner (41) - Antrim Road
  • Paul Faulkner (31) - Queen's Parade
  • Christopher Anthony McDonnell (23) - Wyndham Street, Cliftonville Road
  • Daniel Padraig Neill (20) - Newington Street
  • Liam Michael Thompson (25) - Cliftonville Avenue
  • Christopher Stitt (23) - Carrick Hill
  • Liam Bernard Gavin (19) - Woodside Park, Dunmurry
  • Colin Loughlin (21) - Filbert Drive, Dunmurry
  • Pearse Toman (25) - Garland Drive, Lurgan
Republicans always claim that they are protesting against three Orange lodges walking up the Crumlin Road on their way home to Ballysillan.  So how many of the men who appeared in court actually live in Ardoyne?  Well, from the addresses, not one of the nine lives in Ardoyne and so against each of the names I have put the distance they must have travelled to be at the scene of the riot:
  • Martin Faulkner - 2 miles
  • Paul Faulkner - 2 miles
  • Christopher Anthony McDonnell - 2.6 miles
  • Daniel Padraig Neill - 2.2 miles
  • Liam Michael Thompson - 1.9 miles
  • Christopher Still - 2 miles
  • Liam Bernard Gavin - 8 miles
  • Colin Loughrin - 8 miles
  • Pearse Toman - 26 miles
 I know that one of the 'residents groups', Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective, uses the term 'Greater Ardoyne' but no matter how much you may try to stretch that term, surely it can't stretch to Dunmurry and Lurgan.
The annual republican violence in Ardoyne is not about the rights of residents at all - it is really about dissident republican hatred of the PSNI and about anti-Protestant bigotry.  
Four of the accused are also facing additional charges. 
  • Gavin, from Dunmurry, is accused of damaging a silver BMW, attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, attempted arson and also acting provocatively.
  • Neill is alleged to have burned a silver Citroen.
  • Stitt is accused of stealing the vehicle.
  • Toman, from Lurgan, is accused of having thrown a petrol bomb at the police.
All of the accused deny the charges. 

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