“That’s why we took the steps we took just a few weeks ago to help businesses and consumers in Northern Ireland.
“Obviously, I also appreciate that people have spoken about the decision made last week by the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions), the situation of people coming out of Covid and, as the PSNI said today, ‘ hui, pure criminal activity and encourage young people to get started. criminal activity.
“All of these things come together in a totally unacceptable way.”
EEarlier today, Stormont’s executive ministers condemned the violence and Stormont MPs unanimously passed a motion calling for an end to the mess.
In a joint statement, the executive of the five parties said: “Although our political positions are very different on many points, we are all united in our support for law and order and we collectively declare our support for police and policemen who put themselves in danger to protect others.
“We, and our departments, will continue to work together to maximize the support we can provide to communities and the PSNI to prevent further violence and unrest.”
The violence unfolds at a time of growing resentment in the political sphere amid tensions around the Brexit trade border with the Irish Sea and the fallout from the police handling of the mass Republican funerals that took place during pandemic restrictions last year.
As riots broke out across Northern Ireland, the four main trade union parties continue to call on Mr Byrne to step down over the way his service handled the funeral of former IRA leader Bobby Storey.
Trade unionists are furious at prosecutors’ decision not to take action against 24 Sinn Fein politicians, including Ms O’Neill, for attending the funeral – a move partly linked to the fact that police had engaged with the organizers ahead of the event which drew 2,000 people onto the streets.