NORTH Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín says the safety of New Lodge residents must be paramount following another night of disruption in the area. 

Anti-social behaviour and street fighting amongst rival gangs with knives was reported on Tuesday night (June 14).

Ms Ní Chuilín said: “Last night the residents of New Lodge were disrupted by anti-social behaviour, resulting in street fighting amongst rival gangs with knives being used. 
“Someone was taken to hospital and police are investigating it as attempted murder. 
“This community deserves much better. 
“I have spoken to statutory bodies to ensure that the safety of the residents is paramount. 
“I would appeal to anyone with information regarding last night to bring it forward to the PSNI.”

North Belfast Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) said the trouble stemmed from an on-going dispute between neighbours in the area.

"IRSP activists have asked that those involved in attacking houses and issuing threats over the past two days to cease their activity immediately and lift any threat to residents or property," a spokesperson said.

"Local activists attended the scene of a knife crime in support of traumatised neighbours. The incident was an escalation in an ongoing dispute.

"Residents made it clear to us that they simply cannot take anymore of it. We therefore appeal to those involved: Think of your neighbours, they are good people.

"A very small group of people, with nothing in common apart from their own deep, individual addiction issues have banded together. Old wounds are being re-opened in an attempt to try and settle old scores. This is a delusional, drug-fuelled menace. It can only ever lead to more trauma for those involved.

"The IRSP has reached out to the families, friends and associates of all involved and offered to them a transparent means of communication to end this nonsense.

"While we may not have the best resources, we do have and will maintain a presence in this community for the good of our people."