Republican News · Thursday 03 August 2000

[An Phoblacht]

UDA behind threats on hospital staff

Members of the nursing staff at the Mater Hospital in North Belfast have been threatened by the UDA and on one occasion last month, a man pulled a gun on a nurse. And in the past ten days men representing the UDA told staff they would be shot.

In the aftermath of the loyalist violence arising out of this year's Drumcree situation, members of staff at the Mater have repeatedly been targeted by loyalists who blocked Carlisle Circus and other roads close to the hospital. One nurse who spoke to An Phoblacht at the time said that management at the hospital, after contact with the loyalists, agreed to have identity cards made up for workers at the hospital.

``Personnel staff took our photos for ID cards. People were annoyed that management would make this kind of arrangement with the loyalists - an arrangement that almost legitimised their action instead of condemning their behaviour outright''.


SOUTH DERRY: A loyalist bomb left at an AOH hall in Bellaghy, South Derry, was ``designed to raise tensions'' said Sinn Féin representative John Kelly.

The pipe bomb was left on the window of the disused hall at Gulladuff between Bellaghy and Maghera on Wednesday 26 July.

According to Kelly, the bomb was left to raise tensions in advance of a loyalist band parade in Maghera last Friday, 28 July.

Restrictions were initially placed on the parade, but in a last minute decision, the Parades Commission allowed it to pass Catholic homes in the South Derry town.

Around 100 nationalists held a protest as the loyalist marchers passed and accused the loyalists of breaching guidelines laid down by the Parades Commission.


BALLYMENA: In a little reported incident, a Catholic family living in the Lettercreeve estate in Ballymena was attacked by loyalists.

The attack, which received little media attention, occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 17 July. An hour previously, St Patrick's High School on the Broughshane Road in Ballymena was petrol bombed.

A petrol bomb was thrown at the house as the family who lived on the estate for over thirty years, slept. It was the second attack on the family's home in two weeks.

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