Irish Republican News · May 17, 2013
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Catholic teen and friends attacked in south Belfast
Catholic teen and friends attacked in south Belfast

beating.jpg

A loyalist mob carried out a savage sectarian attack on a Catholic teenager, her Protestant friend and her friend’s sister in a south Belfast ‘Rangers supporters club’, it has emerged.

The 18-year-old from the Falls Road area of west Belfast was beaten by a crowd of men and women in the Rangers Supporters Bar off the Donegall Road on May 4.

The two women escaped from the club, pursued by a mob wielding iron bars. A third woman, a sister of the Protestant victim, was attacked and left unconscious outside the club.

Despite barricading themselves into a flat nearby, a gang of people armed with baseball bats and metal poles tried to force their way in.

The 21-year-old Protestant friend has since fled her flat after being warned that she was under threat from the UVF for bringing a Catholic into the area.

The incident happened close to where Margaret Wright was murdered in 1994. She was beaten and shot at a loyalist drinking club at Meridi Street on Donegall Road after being mistaken for a Catholic.

Two men believed to have been part of the loyalist mob attack in the Donegall Road area were named by a Sunday newspaper as being members of the UVF-linked PUP, and said they had attended a PUP meeting days after the assault.

Both women were profoundly traumatised by the attack. The woman’s mother was forced to spoke out this week after the PSNI and loyalists attempted to play down the incident as “domestic”.

“This was a planned attack on my daughter for no other reason than her religion,” she said.

“I would never want to tar an entire community with the one brush but in coming forward I just wanted other young people to be aware that there are still dangerous people out there.”

DEATH THREATS

In a separate development, two journalists have been issued with death threats by unionist paramilitaries.

The threats from loyalist paramilitaries have been condemned by the National Union of Journalists which said reporters should be allowed to work free from intimidation.

The president of the NUJ, Barry McCall, called on the people “responsible for the threats to withdraw them immediately and to issue a public statement to that effect.”

The identities of the journalists are not being revealed.

There has been a history of intimidation and violence against journalists by the various groups of loyalist paramilitaries over the past 12 years, including the murder of Sunday World journalist Martin O’Hagan.

In January, during the violent loyalist protests about the union flag being removed from Belfast city hall, a letter containing a bullet was addressed to a reporter.

Last August, the UDA organisation was thought to have been behind a death threat against another Belfast journalist who was named in graffiti daubed on a wall.

© 2013 Irish Republican News