Northern Ireland

Translink withdraws Rathcoole buses for a second night

Translink are to withdraw bus services from Rathcoole for a second successive night after trouble earlier this week.

A company spokesman said on Thursday that the safety of passengers and employees was a top priority.

The last bus from the city centre to Rathcoole and the Doagh Road will be at 1750BST, with the last departure from these areas at 1800BST.

Earlier a local minister urged paramilitaries to stop encouraging children to take part in rioting.

Reverend Alan Millar of St Comgall's Church was speaking after two nights of violence caused over £400,000 of damage.

"The paramilitaries have a ready source of young people who are there on the streets," he said.

"They hold influence through fear and through intimidation."

Although there was no significant disorder on Wednesday, Mr Millar said people were still worried.

"People were going out wondering if they were going to get out and get back in to their area," he said.

"We're all thankful that this has now eased off and hopefully people can get back to their lives and doing their work."

Mr Millar said that part of the problem was that the "paramilitaries order the children out onto the street, but when they tried to stop it the children were enjoying the mayhem."

"Certainly there was an element of recreational violence by a lot of the children and of course at holiday time it would perhaps be higher than during school terms.

"As anyone who has read Lord of the Flies or seen the film will know, children cannot bring themselves up, they cannot find a moral base for themselves and that's used by the paramilitaries whose aim is self-serving. They care nothing for the children, they care nothing for the community."

Dialogue

The minister said although the recent violence seems to have begun in response to police investigations into past loyalist crimes the work should continue.

"The police have to do their job, if there needs to be an investigation into criminal activity that has to happen. The danger is that the paramilitaries will use the children again to thwart that work," he said.

"We need a dialogue with the people who have influence over the paramilitaries to leave the children out of it."

North Belfast DUP MLA Nelson McCausland said his party would be meeting the police and the Independent Monitoring Commission to discuss the violence

"We will be meeting with (Assistant Chief Constable) Duncan McCausland, face-to-face, across the table," he said.

"Our party will talk to him, they will talk to the IMC and I think we will be in a much better position then.

"What I am encouraged by, is the fact that the police were able to tell us yesterday that there is a live investigation going on in relation to the events that happened at Cloughfern."

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