Northern Ireland riots: Robinson and McGuinness meet

image captionPolice have been attacked in areas across Northern Ireland in recent days

Recent violence in Northern Ireland should make people less complacent about the peace process, the first and deputy first ministers have said.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness met at Stormont Castle on Thursday to discuss recent rioting.

Mr Robinson said "as a society we have begun to get a bit careless about how hard won the peace was".

Mr McGuinness said the riots "should shake some people out of their complacency about the peace process".

There was trouble in nationalist areas of Belfast on Monday night and again on Tuesday night as well as in parts of the north west, Armagh and Ballymena.

There was also violence in loyalist areas of Ballyclare, Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey at the weekend.

The violence occurred at the height of the Protestant marching season which culminates in the Orange Order's Twelfth of July parades.

Mr Robinson said there would be repercussions for Northern Ireland as a result of the violence.

"When it becomes one of the major stories around the world, it is damaging to Northern Ireland's reputation.

He said many of those involved in the rioting "intend to destroy the work we're involved in, others are being manipulated by those same people".

"All of them must realise that this community has overwhelmingly decided that it wants to move forward."

Mr McGuinness said the lesson for future 'Twelfths' was that all sides must talk to resolve the issue of contentious parades.

"I want to give due credit and praise to all those within communities who have been very proactively involved in trying to lessen the violence that we anticipated," he said.

"All of those people out there who think it is a good idea not to talk need to get real," he said.

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