It has been revealed that British military intelligence decides if victims of sectarian attacks in the Six Counties should receive measures to protect their homes.
It recently emerged that a Catholic family in County Derry which has reported 18 incidents of sectarian intimidation and violence since 2006 has been refused access to the scheme after their case was assessed by MI5.
East Derry SDLP assembly member John Dallat said he was shocked to learn that the British military is centrally involved in low-level decision making in the north of Ireland.
“It confirms my worst fears that we are now officially in the clutches of the secret organisation MI5, the same organisation that I believe was involved covertly during the worst years of the troubles when some of the most astonishing events took place involving life and death,” he said.
“The PSNI have 18 recorded incidents at the home of this family and MI5 are apparently sitting in judgment deciding that they do not qualify even for strengthened glass in their front window. It really is amazing.”
This week a 15-year-old girl has described her terror after being confronted by two men in east Belfast who directed sectarian abuse at her.
The Catholic teenager was walking home to the nationalist Short Strand with a Protestant friend when they were stopped on the lower Newtownards Road. The teenager said she was asked her name and where she was from before being called a Fenian and having an egg smashed on her head.
The girl’s father, Sean Conlon, said his daughter had been shaken by the sectarian assault on Monday night and did not want to be identified.
“Her friend was walking her part of the way home on Monday night and she was followed by two fellas,” he said.
“They asked her friend who my daughter was and where she was from and she told them she was such and such from the Ravenhill but they asked whereabouts on the Ravenhill and for her surname.”
And a man who was beaten unconscious in a sectarian attack five months ago has tragically taken his own life.
Kieran Ferrin, who was in his early twenties, was found dead in Belfast on Sunday.
Three years ago his 19-year-old brother, Niall, also took his own life having also been the victim of a brutal sectarian attack at the age of 15.
He was beaten unconscious with a golf club at Cliftonpark avenue by a loyalist gang.