Loyalist attacks since July
The following document, listing sectarian attacks carried out
by loyalists since July 1, was prepared by Sinn Fein.
This dossier lists sectarian attacks carried out by loyalists
across the Six Counties, between July 1st - October 6th 2003.
Although by no means comprehensive, due to the
fact that so many attacks go unreported it offers a chilling
picture of orchestrated sectarian intimidation, particularly
in areas where there is a vulnerable nationalist minority.
This dossier will be sent to both the British and Irish
Governments. The Irish government has a duty to defend Irish
Citizens who are the target of these attacks. The British
government has a responsibility to explain the role of their
agents inside the loyalist paramilitaries responsible for this
The British government's suspension of the institutions and
cancellation of the elections created a lengthy political
vacuum, which unionist paramilitaries are trying fill with
Despite the relative calm at interfaces over the last three
months, loyalist violence has persisted with more than 160
separate sectarian attacks on Catholics across the Six
Counties. These attacks are in part the result of the
sectarian divisions within our society, but the majority are
being orchestrated by unionist paramilitary groups.
This has included 54 pipe and petrol bomb attacks, a number of
shooting incidents, 43 attacks on people including a man
stabbed eight times, a pregnant women beaten so severely that
she lost her baby and several attempted abductions. There have
been scores of attacks on Catholic houses and property with
families forced to leave their homes.
And in the last few weeks we have seen an upsurge in attacks
on Catholic schools and churches. On the 18th September five
Catholic schools in Larne, North Belfast and West Belfast were
forced to close due to UDA bomb hoaxes and on 15th September
devices were left at two Catholic schools in Dungiven and
Limavady. The fact that the UDA in particular is heavily
infiltrated by Special Branch and Military Intelligence agents
raises the question about who is setting the agenda for such
In the past much sectarian loyalist violence had been focused
on the interface areas. But as a result of the work done in
these areas over the past year this avenue was largely closed
to those wishing to orchestrate sectarian violence in the past
number of months.
Sinn Fein has been aware that over the past year intensive
contacts between the political leaderships of unionism and the
leaders of the various unionist paramilitary groups have been
ongoing. Unionist politicians should explain the insight this
has given them into what is going on within these armed groups
and tell us when this sustained campaign will end. Those
involved are given succour when they hear unionist politicians
defending sectarian threats and protests such as those which
occurred at Carnmoney Cemetery and in other blatantly
All political parties and civic society need to speak out with
one voice on this campaign. This dossier is merely the tip of
the iceberg and does not include the nightly attacks and
intimidation in parts of North Belfast, Lisburn, Larne and
Coleraine or the many unreported acts of intimidation. There
is an urgent need for the political process to be put back on
track and for a cross-party initiative against sectarianism.
A 21year old man had his skull fractured in a sectarian attack
near St. James Church in Belfast.
A Catholic family was forced to leave their home in the
Parkhall estate in Antrim after a number of masked and it is
believed armed men attacked their house and attemted to force
their way inside.
Petrol bomb attack on a house in Deerpark Road in North
Catholic family in Coleraine were forced to leave their home
when they came under fire from loyalists for the second time
this week - gunshots were fired at their home.
Catholic family in Coleraine had a brick put through their
window by loyalists for flying a Tyrone flag.
Attack on Our Lady of Mercy's school in North Belfast -- six
cars belonging to staff were destroyed and two badly damaged
after loyalists entered the grounds carrying petrol cans,
doused the cars, smashed the window screens and set them on
fire. This is the second attack on the school in 20 months.
Two teenage boys, aged 13 and 14, were attacked by loyalists
in Durham Street in West Belfast.
Loyalists smashed the windows of a car parked outside St.
Comgall's Club in Victoria Road.
A van belonging to workers, removing sectarian graffiti from
apartments in South Belfast, was destroyed by loyalists. This
was the third attack on this apartment block in four weeks
Pipe bomb left at the gates of the Dominican College, a
Catholic Grammer School, in North Belfast. The attack followed
a sectarian arson attack on the school just over a year ago.
A Catholic family with two young children escaped serious
injury after loyalists threw rocks through the back window of
their car as they drove along Market Hill Road in Cookstown,
Petrol bombs were thrown at two homes on the outskirts of
A ten-day-old baby escaped injury after loyalists petrol
bombed four Catholic homes on the Bawnmore estate on the
Northern outskirts of Belfast. Up to five devices where thrown
in the sectarian attack, which happened when loyalists
travelling in a red car stopped outside the nationalist homes.
A 20-year-old man and his father were viciously attacked by
loyalists after a night of greyhound racing at Ballyskeagh dog
track near Lisburn. Louise Conlon told how when she arrived by
car to collect her husband and son after the race meeting, the
pair were set upon by a number of men.
Loyalists smashed windows and the front door of a home in
Stoneyford, near Lisburn during the night. UVF slogans were
sprayed on a wall.
UDA bomb hoaxes in Larne and North and West Belfast closed
five Catholic schools. At around 1.15pm, a caller claiming to
represent the Red Hand Defenders, a cover name used by the
UDA, made a call to a Belfast newsroom to say bombs had been
left at Catholic schools. St. Comgall's High School in Larne
was forced to close, as was Fortwilliam, St. Gabriel's, Our
Lady of Mercy and Holy Cross schools.
Two devices were found at Catholic schools in Derry - St
Patrick's High School, Dungiven, and St Mary's High School in
Limavady, just ten miles away.
A number of Catholic graves were desecrated at St Patrick's
Church cemetery, Ballyargan, in Scarva, County Down, the
latest sectarian attack at a graveyard. Eight graves had
headstones broken and flowers and wreaths were strewn about
On Sunday also, loyalists attacked Catholics homes in the
Deerpark Road area of North Belfast for the third week
Glengormley priest Father Dan White received a death threat
from the Loyalist Action Force, a cover name used by the UDA.
On the same day loyalists blew horns and whistles outside the
gates of the Cemetary in an attempt to disrupt the blessing of
the graves ceremony.
Loyalist paramilitaries bombed a pensioner's home in Larne, Co
Members of the PSNI visited the offices of the North Belfast
News to warn a journalist with the paper that his life is
under threat from unionist paramilitaries.
A car carrying three nationalists, one wearing a County Antrim
GAA shirt, was attacked by around 20 to 30 loyalists, but they
managed to escape unscathed.
Loyalists attacked cars at the West Circular and Ballygomartin
Roads in Belfast. A young driver, targeted for wearing a
Celtic top, was assaulted and robbed but narrowly escaped
Bomb attack on a home in the Upper Cairncastle Road area of
Larne, Co. Antrim
In Derry last week, the UDA threatened to take action against
what it described as 'known republicans' in the Waterside
area. The warning was issued in a statement released by the
Ulster Political Research Group and comes on the back of a
press conference last month when the UPRG warned that the UDA
ceasefire in Derry was coming under strain.
Loyalists daubed sectarian graffiti on the front of St Mary's
Catholic chapel in Glengormley. The slogan KAT (Kill all
Taigs) was painted across the doors of the church on the
Loyalists attack graves at Carnmoney Cemetary outside Belfast
Pipe bomb attack on a house in Magherafelt
A Catholic man was struck on the head with a hatchet by a gang
of Shankill loyalists, as he walked home along Carrick Hill.
Pipe bomb thrown at a house in Lisburn
Car destroyed in an arson attack in Randalstown
Man attacked by loyalists on Deerpark Road -- a brick is
thrown in his face
Two Catholic families were forced to flee from their homes in
Loyalists attack the home of a Catholic mother who lives with
her 15 year old autistic daughter in North Belfast.
A loyalist pipe bomb attached to the gates of Holy Cross
Girls' Primary School disrupted the first day of term and
renewed fears of a resumption of a sectarian campaign of
violence against the North Belfast Catholic School. The attack
took place against the backdrop of a sectarian campaign of
intimidation by Glenbryn loyalists targeting Catholic homes in
nearby Deerpark Road.
An Armagh family's car was attacked with stones by loyalists
as they returned from watching their team win the All-Ireland
football semi-final against Donegal in Dublin. The family from
Lurgan were stopped at traffic lights in the Malcolm Road area
of the town when their car was stoned by a group of loyalists.
Three teenagers were attacked by a gang of seven unionist
paramilitaries carrying baseball bats and golf clubs, as they
walked along Alliance Avenue in Belfast.
Catholic family forced to move. A woman whose North Belfast
home has been the target of a series of sectarian attacks by
loyalists has said she cannot take any more and is moving out.
Lagan Valley Sinn Fein Councillor Paul Butler's home was
attacked by loyalists with fire bombs and numerous threats,
including one naming his partner, have been painted on walls
in Dunmurry and outside the council office in Lisburn. Mr.
Butler also received a live bullet through the post along with
a death threat. In recent months 12 Catholic families have
been forced to put their homes up for sale in Stoneyford.
Loyalists pipe bomb a house in Queens Park area of
Buses with Celtic football supporters were attacked by
loyalists as a loyalist band parade on the Ballyclare Road
near Glengormley. Supporters escaped serious injury as bottles
and bricks crashed through the windows of the bus.
LVF issue death threats to people at a dole office in
Downpatrick and intimidate people entering and leaving the
Members of the PSNI stopped and assaulted 12-year-old Garvan
Brown after he was asked a question and answered them in
Irish. The assault happened as he walked through the Fernabbey
estate in Derry with his older sister.
A dream home being built by a Catholic family in Desertmartin,
County Derry has been burnt down in an arson attack by
loyalists, the sixth attack since construction began several
years ago. The house, on the Tobermore Road in Desertmartin,
was gutted by fire.
Nationalist homes in Cupar Street, just off the Springfield
Road in West Belfast, 12 petrol bomb were thrown into the back
gardens of nationalist homes.
Up to ten devices were thrown across the 'peaceline' at houses
in Cupar Street from the loyalist Mayo Link.
Poleglass man receives a death threat from loyalists
Newtownabbey Sinn Fein councillor Briege Meehan received a
death threat from unionist paramilitaries using the name the
"Loyalist Action Force".
A young nationalist in Glengormley was threatened by an armed
man shortly after 9.30pm
The UDA in Derry issued a new threat of violence at a loyalist
press conference in the Waterside.
Two Catholic schoolboys were attacked and robbed by a group of
loyalists as they left York Street train station North
There was an arson attack on St Enda's GAA Club in Omagh.
Almost three quarters of the roof of the new stand, which is
under construction, has been destroyed as well as around 200
A highly flammable bomb was thrown from a passing car at the
house of councillor Paul Butler, which he shares with his
partner and three children.
Loyalist gangs attacked Catholic homes in the Stiles estate in
Homes in the Clandeboye area of the Short Strand came under
fire from loyalist youths using ball bearings and golf balls.
Loyalist paramilitaries erect Nazi insignia in Ballymena and
distribute White National Party literature as part of their
campaign against non whites.
Members of South Antrim UDA beat and kicked a 31-year-old
Protestant mother so hard she lost her unborn baby, because
she had Catholic friends. Mary Norris said seven masked UDA
men smashed their way into her Rathcoole home, destroying
everything in their way and stealing #800 in savings.
A 17-year-old girl had a gun put to her head and her two male
companions, aged 14 and 26, needed hospital treatment after
they attacked by up to 15 members of the UDA in Dunmurry.
An historic South Derry Catholic church has been badly damaged
in a sectarian arson attack. Extensive damage was caused to
the altar of St John's Church, on the main Magherafelt to
Castledawson Road A window at the rear of the church was
broken and flammable liquid was poured in. The floor at the
rear of the building, which dates from the time of the penal
laws in Ireland, was also badly damaged.
Unionist paramilitaries abandon 3 pipe bombs and a grenade in
the Camlough/Bessbrook area of County Armagh. They say they
were to be used to attack Sinn Fein representatives living in
A number of families living in Leckagh Drive Estate in
Magherafelt, County Derry, were evacuated from their homes due
to a suspect bomb, later declared an elaborate hoax. This was
the latest act of intimidation carried out in the estate which
has been plaqued by unionist paramilitary violence against
Catholics over the last 18 months.
A 21year-old Catholic was seriously injured after he was
attacked by a gang of 20 loyalists wielding golf clubs, iron
bars and poles painted red, white and blue as he played golf
at Aberdelghy Golf club, outside Lisburn. The 21-year-old
victim and his brother-in-law were playing a round of golf
when they were confronted by two men wearing Glasgow Rangers'
football tops. The men ordered the Catholic golfer to remove
his Celtic shirt.
Loyalist youths have been attacking nationalist homes in
Clandeboye Drive and Clandeboye Gardens with ball bearings,
golf balls and other missiles daily. Car windscreens, sun
roofs as well as houses have been hit by missiles fired from
catapults over the interface wall from the loyalist Cluan
Denise Crudden, a Catholic mother of three said that after an
Orange Order march a gang of loyalists youths bombarded her
home, in the mainly Protestant village of Magheraveely, with
bottles, bricks and other rubble in a three-hour rampage.
During the onslaught, Crudden had to hide her children in a
room at the back of the house.
Loyalist issue death threats against two Derry postmen. The
two Catholic workers are on special leave from their jobs at
Derry sorting office after receiving UVF sympathy cards at
their home addresses. The cards, which were signed UVF, bore
the words 'RIP, Fenian Scum'. They were delivered at the
weekend. The latest threat is not the first time postal
workers in Derry have been targeted by loyalist
Loyalist supporters of the White Nationalist Party (WNP) have
been erecting Nazi flags and distributing party leaflets in
the loyalist town of Ballymena, County Antrim. White
Nationalist Party flags have been put up on lampposts beside
the joint offices of the Social Security Agency and the
Housing Executive in Twickenham House at Mount Street and in
the Clonavon area of the town.
A number of Catholic residents from Ardoyne who applied for a
judicial review against the Parades Commission decision to
allow an Orange parade through their area have received death
threats from the Red Hand Defenders, a cover name used by the
Two malicious fires have left children in the New
Lodge/Duncairn area of North Belfast without a playground. The
fires, which caused more than #6,000 damage to the Star
Neighbourhood Centre, were started by loyalist arsonists who
returned to torch the centre a second time only days after
their first attack. Now, nearly 60 children are without any
play area over the summer holidays.
A PSNI officer has attacked a young girl who had already been
victimised during the Holy Cross dispute, leaving the child
bruised and traumatised. Twelve-year-old Shauna Millen was
standing with female friends on Clifton Park Avenue after a
PSNI raid had been carried out on a home nearby.
A FOUR-year-old Co Antrim child escaped injury in an early
morning petrol bomb attack by loyalists. The boy and his
parents were asleep upstairs at their home in Willow Walk,
Aghalee, in the early hours of the morning when the attack
with two petrol bombs was launched.
It was revealed in a Housing Executive report that almost 90
families have been intimidated from their homes in Antrim in
the past year. The vast majority of the cases were of
Catholics being forced from their homes by unionist
An American woman whose family business was destroyed and
whose home was attacked by loyalists has said she is
considering returning to the United States. The UVF in the
South Derry area have admitted they are responsible for the
A Catholic man was knifed in the back up to eight times, when
loyalists attempted to abduct the man, outside Bushmills, Co
A 28-year-old Catholic man was viciously assaulted in
sectarian attack carried out by a loyalist gang who targeted
him as he walked along the Cloyfin Road near to Coleraine
A Catholic man was stabbed in the stomach by a loyalist
bandsman only hours after a controversial Orange Order march
took place on the nationalist Springfield Road in West
Belfast. The 27-year-old father of two was walking to a local
shop on Clifton Street in north Belfast with his two-year-old
son at around 5.30pm on Saturday when he was attacked.
The attempted murder of a 20-year-old John Stewart by
loyalists in Ballynahinch last weekend was the most serious of
a series of attacks in the County Down town in recent months.
Ballynahinch's 50% Catholic population has been targeted by
loyalists from the Langley Road estate. And in the run up to
this year's marching season, loyalists have festooned the town
with loyalist flags including UDA, UVF, YCV, Ulster Flags and
Union Jacks. UVF and YCV flags have been erected outside a
Catholic primary school and the local library.