Loyalist victim hospitalised
A Larne man whose family has been repeatedly targeted by loyalists was admitted to hospital last week suffering with clinical depression. Last month, John Shaw escaped death when a Protestant friend was injured by a booby-trap device planted by loyalists and believed to have been intended for John. Three years ago, the Shaw family had another lucky escape when a grenade exploded under their van. Last weekend, the family's car was set alight.
Mother of three Adele Shaw said repeated loyalist attacks and the constant threat of attack had led to her husband's breakdown. ``They have made our lives an absolute hell,'' she said. Seven years ago, John Shaw's uncle was shot dead in a sectarian attack by loyalists and since then the family have been singled out for harassment.
Adele said her children were very distressed by the constant attacks on their home in Larne's Seacourt estate. The family also suffer sectarian harassment while shopping in the town centre. ``We have been assaulted and threatened,'' she said. Describing herself as a ``prisoner in her own home'', Adele said fear of sectarian harassment stops her from going out unaccompanied.
Nationalist welcome Ormeau parade decision
Nationalists have welcomed the Parades Commission's decision to prevent the Apprentice Boys from staging a march through the nationalist Lower Ormeau Road next Sunday. The Commission placed restrictions on the feeder parade, which is to join marchers in a Remembrance Day commemoration in Belfast City Centre.
Lower Ormeau Road Resident's spokesperson Gerard Rice said the whole community had ``sighed with relief'' after the Commission's decision. Apprentice Boy Tommy Cheevers described himself as ``frustrated and angry'' at the decision but said they would not be protesting the decision.
Loyalists blamed for RUC attack
Loyalists have been blamed for the booby-trap bomb planted in a traffic cone outside an RUC barracks in Castlewellan last week. RUC officer David Fegan was seriously injured when the device exploded last Wednesday, 1 November. At first dissident republicans were blamed for the attack but forensic evidence later identified the device as loyalist, most probably originating with the Orange Volunteers.
Pastor Kenny McClinton, a former go-between for the LVF, denied loyalist involvement in the attack. ``There is no rhyme or reason for a loyalist organisation to attack the RUC,'' he said.
The bombing follows a recent loyalist attack on the home of the RUC officer involved in the jailing of UDA leader Johnny Adair and a pipe-bomb attack on the car of a witness at an arms trial.
Loyalist extend campaign against soccer teams
The loyalist campaign against Catholic soccer teams has extended to the Wedderburn playing fields off Finaghy Road South in the Lisburn Road area of Belfast.
According to Sinn Féin's Stiofáin Long, a gang of loyalists threw stones and other missiles at the young players as they gathered, last Saturday 4 November, in the car park ahead of a series of fixtures in the Down and Connor League.
``This seems to have been a planned attack,'' said Long. ``There is a campaign to force Catholics off these pitches''.
Over 100 hundred youngsters, some as young as eight, had gathered in the car park of the Wedderburn pitches when the loyalist gang struck.
Long praised the efforts of adults accompanying the children, who formed a chain around them and prevented them sustaining injuries.
This is the latest in a long line of attacks against nationalist soccer clubs who are forced to play their weekly fixtures in loyalist areas.
The Suffolk pitches on Blacks Road have gained most notoriety as constant intimidation by loyalists has led to hundreds of matches being postponed. Here, the favoured loyalist tactic has been to spread nails and broken glass on the playing surfaces.