Demonstrators criticised after police officer injured during prison protest

Demonstrators criticised after police officer injured during prison protest

The rally was being held in support of dissident republicans held in Maghaberry Prison. Picture: PA

Ulster Unionist Doug Beattie has criticised a protest outside Maghaberry Prison after a police officer was injured during “disturbances”.

Police arrested four men aged in their 20s at a demonstration being held outside Maghaberry Prison on Saturday.

They were arrested on suspicion of a number of public order offences.

One police officer was injured during the rally which was being held in support of dissident republicans.

Ulster Unionist Doug Beattie criticised a protest outside Maghaberry Prison (PA)

Mr Beattie, the Ulster Unionist’s spokesman for justice, condemned the scenes.

The MLA said: “Yesterday supporters of dissident republican prisoners took it upon themselves to hold a protest outside Maghaberry Prison and as a result of disturbances which broke out, a police officer was injured.

“This entire situation is an exercise in futility.

“The bottom line is that anyone who still supports the failed and flawed concept of physical-force republicanism has nothing positive to offer anyone and is on a road to nowhere.

“All this ideology ever did was fill the jails and fill the graveyards, destroying lives and communities in the process.

“I would like to wish the injured officer a speedy recovery and would urge the authorities to be very mindful what kind of protests they facilitate near our prisons in future, not least in the midst of the current pandemic.”

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