Irish Republican News · February 15, 2008
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Family forced out of Stoneyford
Family forced out of Stoneyford

A Catholic father of three has expressed anger at being forced to leave Stoneyford, County Armagh by a long campaign of sectarian intimidation and death threats.

The campaign culminated on Monday evening in warnings of an imminent pipe bomb attack on his family’s home.

The death threat was delivered to the family home by the PSNI police, who would not tell the family the exact nature of the threat or who was under threat.

His is the fourth Catholic family to be forced out of the village in an ongoing campaign of sectarian ‘ethnic cleansing’.

The man, who did not want to be named, said the PSNI officers at Lisburn Police Station knew who was responsible for the intimidation.

“I really cannot work any more closely with the police on this than I have done already,” he said.

Local Sinn Féin Assembly member Paul Butler said that the PSNI were not protecting Catholics in the village.

“This gang is well known to the PSNI yet they are doing nothing to curtail their intimidatory and sectarian behavior.

“Two weeks ago I met Assistant Chief Constable and the police officers in charge of the area. I was given an assurance that the PSNI would act to deter this gang.

“I am still waiting on an effective response - no single loyalist involved in this campaign has been arrested.

“They roam the village intimidating people at will. This is totally unacceptable. The PSNI must immediately act to protect the Catholics from this loyalist gang.”

TOUR BUS ATTACKED

Meanwhile, a tour firm is understood to be reconsidering bringing visitors to Belfast after a second of their distinctive ‘Paddywagon’ vehicles were attacked within just two weeks.

The bus had been parked outside a youth hostel on Fitzwilliam Street in the university area of Belfast when it was targeted by unionists because of its Irish-themed design.

The two buses were completely destroyed by fire, costing the firm thirty thousand pounds each.

Speaking after her bus was fire-bombed, Dutch tourist Petra Briene said: “We saw it this morning and we were shocked - we just rode this bus yesterday and it’s mad to look at it like this.”

“I’d take the Paddywagon again, just to support them. It’s great craic and harmless - I don’t get why somebody would do this.”

© 2008 Irish Republican News