[Sinn Fein]

14th August 1999

RUC Attack Peaceful Protesters on Lower Ormeau

Mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness has slammed the actions of the `RUC on the Lower Ormeau Road in Belfast this morning.'

Mr Mc Guinness said:

`This parade should never have happened. The brutality of the RUC against peaceful demonstrators on the Lower Ormeau Road in Belfast this morning once again highlights the sectarian nature of the force.

`Several dozen people were hospitalised with varying degrees of injuries, mostly to the head. One young women was knocked unconscious and hospitalised. A man was sent to hospital with a suspected broken leg.

RUC media statements predicting widespread violence today were deliberately designed to set the scene for today's unprovoked attacks on the nationalists community. RUC claims that community leaders have verified their allegations are bogus. We expect that the RUC will continue to provoke confrontation throughout the day- especially in Derry. I appeal to everyone, particularly the youth of Derry not to be drawn into any such confrontation. All protests should be as requested by the Residents Groups - peaceful, dignified and determined.'

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