Thugs attack man, pregnant partner
A group of unionist youths attacked a young nationalist and his
pregnant partner in the Short Strand area of East Belfast last
week. The incident took place in the middle of the afternoon of
Thrusday, 24 April.
The man and his partner had just visited the doctor's office at
Bryson Street and the Newtownards Road, and were emerging from
the nearby chemist after having a perscription filled. They were
then set upon by 6-7 unionists who appeared to be in their late
The young woman - who is obviously pregnant - was shoved to the
ground, and her partner was beaten so severely he had to be taken
to hospital by ambulance.
In a bizarre aside, the unionist youths had removed the male
victims shoes and burned them on land where loyalists are
stacking wood for an upcoming bonfire. The site chosen for the
bonfire overlooks St. Mathews Catholic Church, and nationalist
residents are expressing fears over both its location and the
potential for an escallation in violence over the coming months.
Sinn Fein's Joe O'Donnell noted that the incident highlights the
need for medical and other essential services to be located
within the Short Strand area itself, something he himself has
been working towards. He expressed his frustration at the attack
and his concern for the upcoming summer.
"It is extremely worrying that at a time when people are working
on the ground to end tensions in this area there are those who
are intent on trying to instigate confrontation," said O'Donnell.
He went on, "at a time when residents of the Short Strand had
hoped that attacks upon this community were being brought to an
end, we once again see nationalists being attacked while trying
to use community facilities.
"This attack was carried out by a number of loyalist youths who
have been congregating in this area where they have begun to
build a bonfire. I would call upon those with influence in the
unionist community to ensure that such attacks do not continue."
"As we move closer to the marching season the people of this area
need to know what unionist intentions are."