Tuesday, September 06, 2005


A new low for loyalists

School children are being recruited by text message to riot on the streets of Belfast, security chiefs said tonight.

One as young as five has already been warned by police as loyalists petrol bombed and stoned police.

Youngsters have been urged to leave their classrooms by paramilitary thugs orchestrating the violence in the north of the city, senior officers believe.

Details emerged as the British and Irish Governments were handed a new dossier by a ceasefire watchdog on a loyalist terrorist feud involving the Ulster Volunteer Force – the organisation bringing new chaos and violence to badly scarred neighbourhoods.Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has urged the authorities to undertake a radical policy review in loyalist areas before the heightening trouble causes a total collapse in confidence.

Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland said: "There are text messages being sent around schools telling people there’s going to be trouble tonight and telling them to come out. It’s been clearly orchestrated."

Police chiefs strenuously defended their tactics for controlling the mayhem which erupted in the Woodvale district yesterday as officers raided homes following a UVF show of strength.

A machine gun and clothing believed to have been used by the paramilitaries as they flaunted their presence were seized, while another four men were arrested on suspicion of serious terrorist offences.

Police believe the recovery of a treasured weapon enraged loyalists into an onslaught of violence that involved hijacking seven vans and lorries and setting them alight.

Even though order was later restored, rioting erupted again overnight and Mr McCausland disclosed just how young some of those involved were.

"We approached a five-year-old on the Crumlin Road," he said.

"His so-called friends were running too quick and that’s how we caught him. He had been throwing stones.

"He was taken home to his parents and handed over with a strong telling off."

How evil is this? Chldren being recruited through text messages by loyalists? Disgusting. Something is seriously wrong when children as young as five are being initiated into violence.

When are unionists going to come together with nationalists to fight back against these depraved individuals? Unity is required to defeat these thugs.


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