There were remarkable scenes at Lanark Way last night when an open net opportunity to riot was apparently rejected by confused rioters.
A loyalist protest was arranged in opposition to the N.I. Protocol, to take place in West Belfast. In an entirely unfortunate coincidence, this also happens to be the site of a large and historically hostile peace wall between two divided communities.
Incredibly this open invitation for a good ‘oul recreational riot was turned down by rioters on the Republican side. Having been questioned on their non-appearance it seems to bizarrely have been as a result of the Furlough scheme ending.
When asked why they had not shown up as expected veteran member of the Springfield Giants Rioting Squad, Jimmy McDuffy, blamed the Northern Ireland executive.
“I’m angry as a bear after Goldilocks has visited, fuck sake. Nobody told us furlough had ended. We’ve had a pile of riots we’ve missed out on because of a lack of information coming from Stormont. It’s time for our political representatives to explain themselves.
Why go out rioting when you can sit at home and get 80% of your pay anyway? By the time you get the taxi up and home, and get a chinese afterwards, you’re talking the guts of 30 quid. But if I had have known the Loyalists were busting for a firework fight I’d have been there in an instant. In a funny way, I miss them. It’s them I feel sorry for actually, especially these cold nights.”
Nobody within the Stormont executive was willing to respond to requests for comment on the matter at time of printing. Though Jimmy McDuffy has stated he plans to start a campaign to bring furlough back in, at least until the nights are brighter and the better weather comes in.
When told about Jimmy McDuffy’s claims of not knowing about the end of Furlough, his opposite number sympathised. Sammy Orchard from the Shankill Devils Riot Collective.
“I know where he’s coming from, I didnt know it had ended either at first. Jim Allister had been on the phone about getting the lads back out to work. He told me furlough had ended but I didn’t believe him. As the saying around here goes ‘There’s only one thing full of more sh*te than a communal toilet, and that’s Jim Allister’. How could anybody trust that big red face anyway.
So anyway, off he went and 20 minutes later I’d Jamie Bryson on the phone about it. Now Jamie is a man of great integrity and intelligence, so that’s when I knew it must have ended.
I still couldn’t believe it when the Springfield boys didn’t show up, but that furlough thing explains it. I sympathise with them, but the Belfast Riot Commission will have this down as a win for us, since they didn’t show up. Nothing I can do about that”.
Local community workers were also left confused and upset about the incident. They had expected to be out to be seen preventing young rioters from attacking from the Republican side, but it didn’t happen.
Local community worker Seamus McHardy seen both the pros and the cons of the riot not taking place.
“Usually we try stop them – not that it ever works like. Tonight though makes it look like we’ve achieved something so I guess that’s good in a funny way. I wish I had’ve known in advance though because it is absolutely freezing and my wife said she’s going to watch the next episode of Squid Game and won’t wait on me getting home. Pissed off doesn’t cover it.”
It’s yet to be seen whether the incident and the end of furlough will mean a return to the streets for the Sprinfield Giants Riot Group, though an appeal is expected to be made against the Win being granted to the loyalist side.
If the S.G.R.G. decide to focus their efforts on re-implementing furlough, then it could be a long and lonely winter for the Shankill Devils. Left to their own devices and with only police to riot with, the sadness was palpable.
“Everybody knows the PSNI are the wooping boys of the riot scene.” Said Sammy Orchard. “They’re just lucky there’s no relegation, or they’d be fucked. For the sake of the sport we need the Springfield Giants back on the streets”
The community and fans of watching riots on the news will wait with baited breath to see if the invitation will be accepted.
As always we will keep you updated with any exclusive news, as soon as we think of it.