Irish Republican News · December 17, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Loyalists mount attacks in Belfast
Loyalists mount attacks in Belfast

Three republicans had their homes attacked overnight.

Last night's attacks are the latest in a series of attacks on the homes of republicans in West Belfast in recent weeks.

Republicans believe that the attacks are linked and that the information is coming directly from within the Crown Forces.

The attacks occurred in the St. James area and involved ball bearings fired into the houses at around 11pm. In at least one of the cases the ball bearing passed through double glazing and entered the living room, which was occupied at the time.

``It was only through good fortune that nobody was seriously injured or even killed as a result of these attacks,'' said West Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Fra McCann.

``Let us make no mistake about this, these ball bearings are being fired from handgun type weapons and are lethal.''

Maskey urged republicans to remain vigilant in the time ahead.''

Loyalists have also been blamed for a murder bid in north Belfast on Sunday night.

A young man who was leaving the Boundary Bar was attacked by four loyalists wielding hammers. He suffered serious head injuries and he is considered lucky to be alive.

Sinn Féin representative for North Belfast Gerry Kelly said it was not a random assault but a sectarian attack.

``I am calling on unionist politicians to speak out against this sort of random sectarian attack and work with the representatives of the nationalist community in North Belfast to ensure that this type of sectarian activity is ended.''

GRAVE ATTACKED

And the grave of loyalist murder victim Daniel McColgan has been desecrated for the second time. The attack comes just weeks before the second anniversary of the murder of the Catholic postman in Newtonabbey, just north of Belfast.

Mrs McColgan, who tends to her son's grave daily, discovered his headstone had been smashed, pictures of the young father destroyed, and flowers strewn everywhere, when she visited yesterday morning.

``I'm disgusted. They are the lowest of the low. Why do they need to do this?

``They have no respect for the dead or anyone. They must have no respect for themselves. The whole Protestant community should come out and say what these loyalists are like.''

Sinn Féin's Briege Meehan blamed the UDA for the desecration.

``This ongoing sectarian campaign against the McColgan family is organised and orchestrated by the UDA in Newtownabbey and I would call upon them to desist from their despicable desecration of nationalist graves in Carnmoney,'' she said.

``We call on both sides of the community to try and eradicate sectarianism in Newtownabbey through dialogue and to build trust and respect for each other's cultures and traditions.''

© 2003 Irish Republican News