Fireworks explode as Nationalist and Loyalist rioters clash with one another at the peace wall on Lanark Way in West Belfast, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The police had to close roads into the near by Protestant area as crowds from each divide attacked each other. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
UPDATED 7:49 AM PT – Friday, April 9, 2021
Tensions broke out again in Northern Ireland over the selective enforcement of coronavirus lockdowns by local authorities. Clashes continued into the fourth night in Belfast with supporters of the union with the U.K. throwing firebombs at nationalists who want to join the Republic of Ireland.
The violence began after authorities refused to punish the Nationalist Party Sinn Fein for breaking COVID-19 rules at last year’s funeral of IRA Intel Chief Bobby Storey.
“Political unionism is feeling that the union is very much under threat, that Northern Ireland’s place is under threat in the union,” stated Katy Hayward of Queen’s University Belfast. “And they feel in London, they feel very much that suspicious of the protocol and Brussels, the Irish government’s role in that.”
North Irish unionists said the selective enforcement of COVID-19 rules is unfair and local officials, favoring Nationalists, may break the U.K. into pieces.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson said he’s investigating the reasons why coronavirus rules weren’t properly enforced.