Significant increase in sectarian attacks
A Catholic father-of-two last night was stabbed by unionists returning
from an Orange Order parade at a west Belfast interface.
Builder Matt Doyl said that he had been walking with his two-year-old
son Matthew in north Belfast on Saturday afternoon.
"I had heard on the radio that the Springfield parade had passed
peacefully so I thought I'd bring Matthew to the shop for sweets.
"When we were just walking onto Clifton Street which was deserted,
there wasn't anyone around. "The first I knew anything was happening
was when I felt someone jump me from behind and push me up against a
The father-of-two said that he only realised he had been stabbed when
he spotted blood coming through his shirt.
"The guy was wearing a Rangers top with a bandsman's waist coat and
He said that his attacker then ran back up Clifton Street towards buses
"To be honest I was more concerned about Matthew because by that
people were coming from everywhere and I didn't know if he was safe."
The father-of-two was rushed to hospital where he was treated for a
stab wound to the chest.
"The doctors said that I was lucky that the knife only seemed to
so far. They said it is too early to know if there is any lasting
damage to the liver.
Condemning the attack, Sinn Fein councillor Margaret McClenaghan said:
"This attack once more shows that the Orange Order is incapable of
controlling its supporters and vindicates the concerns expressed by
She added: "It is about time the Parades Commission began taking
seriously the concerns voiced by the representatives of the nationalist
A 15-year-old Catholic youth out socialising with friends was also
stabbed in the back and hit over the head with a bottle by members of
the unionist paramilitary UDA as he walked just off the Lower Ormeau
Road around 7.30 pm last week. They then struck another youth on the
head with a brick before fleeing the scene by car.
The youth was apparently attacked by a well-known UDA man because he
was wearing a Celtic shirt.
There was also a vicious attack in the County Down town of Ballynahinch
on Sunday morning.
A 20-year-old Catholic man, believed to be from Dunmore, close to
Ballynahinch, is in a critical condition in hospital after being
attacked by a group of men in the early hours of Sunday.
The man was with a group of friends returning from Armagh when the bus
they were travelling in broke down on the outskirts of the town.
As they were walking into the town, they were attacked by another group
of men. One man suffered serious head injuries and was taken to the
Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
Sinn Fein councillor Francis Braniff blamed loyalists for the attack.
"There were a lot of problems like this right up until last August.
lot of work was done on the ground to put the situation right," Mr
"It's been relatively quiet in recent months. There were a couple
incidents on Friday night and then we had this. I hope this isn't the
start of more trouble in the town."
PENSIONER FORCED OUT
Elsewhere, a Catholic pensioner was forced to abandon her home in
Magherafelt, were she has lived for the past 18 years, after a note was
pushed through the letterbox of her Leckagh Drive home warning all
Catholics should leave the estate.
It was later reported that less than 24 hours later six masked men were
seen outside Betty O'Loughlin's former home.
The 63 year old said she can't go back to the estate after what has
happened even though everything she owns is in the house. She has been
left so traumatised her doctor has prescribed tranquillisers.
"In the last five years nearly every Catholic family has been forced
out and if someone doesn't do something soon there won't be any
The pensioner accused the PSNI of ignoring the loyalist intimidation,
"they say they can't catch these loyalist because they run off when
PSNI turn up. Everyone knows who is behind these attacks but nothing is
Sinn Fein councillor Seamus O'Brien also accused the PSNI of having no
interest in putting an end to the ongoing sectarian nightmare faced by
the small number of Catholic residents left in the estate.
"When Catholic residents tell the PSNI of threats from loyalists
that they should get out of Leckagh or be burnt out a PSNI member
responded by saying that it 'sounds like a good advice' and then look
on as Catholic residents flee their homes".
O'Brien added that over the last few weeks there has been an increase
in sectarian attacks perpetrated by loyalist mobs within the
Magherafelt area and this means that Catholics in South Derry are in
for a long hot summer.
He called on all local political, community and church representatives
to unite and speak out against all manifestations of sectarian violence
and intimidation in the area.
Meanwhile, a second pipe bomb attack has been directed at South
Africans living at Donegall Avenue in the south of the city.
It is the latest in a series of attacks in that area. South Belfast
racists were also behind a pipe bomb attack on the home of two South
African women last week, when an explosive device was hurled through
the living room window Fortunately, it failed to explode.
"I heard the window smash, and when I went downstairs there was a
and a metallic object in the room," said one of the terrified women.
"We contacted the police and they arrived on the scene with soldiers.
have only been in Belfast a couple days and I am really frightened."
The attacks came only days after the British Nazi Party papered the
Donegall Road with pamphlets describing asylum seekers as "unwanted
invaders" and warning locals that "these criminals will be given
taxes and council houses". The organisation often works in concert
with hardline unionist elements in the North of Ireland.