Renewed disturbances in Rathcoole area of Newtownabbey

  • Published

Petrol bombs have been thrown at police during a second night of violence in the Newtownabbey area.

A bus was hijacked and set on fire near the Cloughfern roundabout.

It is understood the bus was being driven by a woman, who was pulled out of the cab. She was shocked but otherwise uninjured.

There were no passengers on board. It is understood that the driver did not know that bus services had been suspended at about 1900 BST.

Michael Dornan from the Unite union, which represents some bus drivers, said he was disgusted by the latest attack.

"The easiest thing to do would be to withdraw the services," he said.

"But it is not the fault of the people who depend on the bus for their job, it is not the fault of the people who depend on the bus to go shopping.

"Someone, somewhere needs to show leadership and stop this so these people can have the bus service they need."


Damage caused during rioting on Monday night will cost £200,000 to repair. Six cars and a bus were burnt out.

Police have said that loyalist paramilitaries have been involved in the trouble and appealed for anyone with any influence in the area to intervene to stop it.

The riots on Monday evening followed a number of earlier police raids in the mainly loyalist area.

The PSNI said the searches were part of Operation Stafford, an ongoing serious crime branch investigation into a series of murders and other crimes by the UVF in north Belfast.

At the end of last year, the PSNI took on the investigation from the Historical Enquiries Team.

Police rejected claims that officers had been heavy-handed during the raids.