Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Saturday, 9 August 2008 17:22 UK

Man seriously injured at bonfire

Bonfire
The trouble broke out at a bonfire in the Heights area of the town

A man in is hospital with a serious head injury and a broken leg following disturbances in Coleraine on Friday night.

Police arrested four people after trouble broke out at a bonfire site in the Heights area of the town.

A number of weapons including iron bars and wooden batons were seized.

Charges have been brought against two people. One was charged with possession of an offensive weapon and another with disorderly behaviour.

A third was released and the fourth remains in custody.

Sinn Fein Councillor Billy Leonard said up to 100 loyalists entered the area.

"There is a lot of anger in this community as to the way the police handled it. They are blaming police for allowing a loyalist mob into what is, not exclusively, but a majority nationalist, republican street," he said.

The police said their officers dealt with the situation swiftly and professionally, and that any complaints should be forwarded to the Police Ombudsman.

PSNI area commander for Coleraine, Chief Inspector Nicky Thompson called on everyone with influence to ensure there were no further outbreaks of disorder.

"It is time that people showed more respect for their neighbours, and time that the small minority who seem intent on creating trouble sought out new and peaceful ways to resolve their differences," he said.

Detectives have appealed for witnesses to contact them.





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