Irish Republican News · October 1, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Bomb attack in Ballymoney
Bomb attack in Ballymoney

A couple and a three-year-old boy have escaped injury in a unionist paramilitary bomb attack on Thursday.

Pieces of steel blasted into the living room of a house in Ballymoney, County Antrim, in an explosion which would have proved fatal if the room had been occupied.

The device detonated on the windowsill of the property at Carnany Drive at around 2am. Damage was also caused to a car parked in the driveway, with shrapnel reaching a distance of fifty yards away.

The family, who were asleep when the device detonated, were unhurt but have been left traumatised by their ordeal.

Police said the explosion was being treated as attempted murder. Detective Inspector Nick McCaw said: “This is a very serious crime which was perpetrated by loyalist paramilitaries who set out with this bomb to injure or kill.”

He confirmed two 5-inch pieces of steel entered the living room and became embedded in the ceiling and sofa.

Mr McCaw added: “Had either of these hit anyone, they would have been seriously injured or killed.”

GAELIC FANS ATTACKED

A series of attacks on Gaelic football fans have been reported since Sunday’s All-Ireland football final.

A two-year-old sustained injuries to his face when he was struck by a bottle thrown at the car he was travelling through Omagh.

The car was flying a Tyrone flag from its rear window at the time of the incident. After the attack, a dark-coloured car stopped and the driver told the women they would get “more of the same” if they did not take down the flag.

Earlier, a woman who was walking in Omagh with her family was attacked by a group of youths who sprayed her with petrol. She was carrying a Tyrone flag when the attack took place.

In Dungannon, a child was struck with a missile while sitting in a parked car in Perry Street and several cars were attacked by stone throwers as they returned home from Croke Park.

And two women and three children were attacked as they drove through the County Tyrone village of The Moy after the All-Ireland final by a gang of up to eight youths.

In Cookstown, “Tyrone supporters’ cars were stopped by loyalists, who tried to take the flags off their cars, resulting in clashes.

Meanwhile, Gaelic football clubs across the North have stepped up security after an explosive device was left at a football ground.

Members of Magherafelt O’Donovan Rossa were evacuated from the club’s Castledawson Road grounds on Monday night after the discovery of a potentially lethal explosive device concealed in grass beside a gate leading to clubrooms.

It is understood the device was discovered by members of the popular club arriving for a committee meeting. It was the third bomb attack in the club in recent years.

MORE ATTACKS

Meanwhile, fears are growing of a renewed sectarian campaign in Ballymena after another paint bomb attack on the home of Catholic family.

So far this week, two Catholic homes in the strongly unionist town have been targeted in attacks.

During the summer dozens of attacks were carried out on Catholic-owned property in the north Antrim area, and a number of Catholic residents were forced to flee their homes.

It is understood the latest attack on a Catholic home may be linked to the erection of several tricolours at the front of the town’s Dunclug estate in recent weeks.

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan called for an end to sectarian attacks in Ballymena.

“It’s obvious that despite political movement at the macro level that unionist foot soldiers are determined to take their lead from Ian Paisley and refuse to move forward with the rest of society.

“These sectarian acts in Ballymena are senseless and those involved in the onslaught would be better engaging with the nationalist community to make Ballymena a better place.”

Meanwhile, churches of both communities have been struck by a series of sectarian attacks, including the DUP leader Ian Paisley’s church in east Belfast.

Twelve windows were smashed at the Martyrs’ Memorial Free Presbyterian church on Ravenhill Road.

© 2005 Irish Republican News