Stormont Executive ministers condemn violence in Northern Ireland

Ministers in the Stormont Executive has condemned the violence and rioting that has erupted in Northern Ireland, with calls for calm to be restored. The Northern Ireland Executive issued a joint statement following a meeting of the powersharing administration to discuss the escalating public order situation in the region.

Video Transcript

ARLENE FOSTER: The scenes we have seen, over this last evening and in previous evenings in various parts of Northern Ireland, are totally unacceptable. There can be no place in our society for violence, or the threat of violence, and it must stop. The injury to frontline officers, victims terrorized, damage to people's property; the harm to Northern Ireland's image, and this, our centenary year, has taken us backwards. And no brick, no bottle, no petrol bomb thrown, has achieved, or can ever achieve, anything but destruction, harm, and fear.

Today is not the time to rehearse the arguments of this last number of weeks. You have to say that we should all know well that when politics fail, or are perceived to be failing, in Northern Ireland, then those who fill the vacuum offer destruction and despair. We cannot allow a new generation of our young people to fall victim to that path, or be preyed upon, by some who prefer the shadows to the light. So political problems require political solutions, never street violence. Northern Ireland is faced with a number of deep and significant political challenges in the time ahead.

MICHELLE O'NEILL: I think it's incumbent upon us all as assembly members, as political leaders, to meet and to publicly express our deep concerns relating to the recent violence on the ongoing street disorder, and over Easter week, right across many areas, Belfast, Dorrington, and other parts of the North. What we saw last night at Lanark Way interface, I think was a very dangerous escalation of events of recent days and it's utterly deplorable. It's not right, it's dangerous, it's unacceptable, and it is a miracle that as we stand here today that no one has been killed.