Loyalist thugs attack youth club
A 12-year-old Catholic boy was seriously assaulted when a gang of
loyalist teenagers went on the rampage outside a cross-community
youth centre in Dunmurry on the outskirts of Belfast on Thursday
night, 24 April.
The youngster received cuts and bruising to his face and body
after he was attacked by loyalist youths aged between 16 and 18
while walking home along with his Protestant friend from the
Stevenson Community Centre.
The boy's father described how his son was punched and kicked
repeatedly to the ground before a local man intervened.
"This is just another sectarian attack. His Protestant friend
wasn't touched but my son was targeted because he is a Catholic,"
said the father.
The situation escalated when minutes later the gang returned with
reinforcements. They surrounded the youth club, trapping all
those inside. A youth leader told how she had to lock the front
door to keep out the thugs.
"It is a miracle no one else was hurt", continued the father.
"This club is supposed to be a safe and fun place for children
from both communities, but now my son is to scared to go back."
TEENAGE CATHOLIC ATTACKED
Earlier in the week, a 13-year-old Catholic schoolboy was
attacked by members of the UDA's youth wing, the Ulster Young
Militants, in Antrim Town on Tuesday.
The boy was with a group of other children, both Catholic and
Protestant, when he was singled out.
The loyalists were driving around the Towns Park South area of
Antrim in a two-car convoy before approaching the group of
children and questioning them about their religion and where they
The Catholic schoolboy, from the Rathenraw estate in the town,
was then singled out and assaulted by the loyalist gang, who also
warned the children that "no taigs from the Rathenraw" would
allowed out of the estate.
The gang also made derogatory comments about the killing of local
teenager Ciaran Cummings, who was shot dead by a unionist gun
gang in July 2001.
Sinn Fein councillor Martin McManus said that attacks against
nationalists have intensified over the past few weeks. He called
on all political leaders in South Antrim to end their policy of
silence concerning the daily attacks on nationalists in the area.