Republican News · Thursday 14 December 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Sectarian intimidation in Dunmurry

There is an orchestrated campaign of ethnic cleansing being waged against Catholics living in Dunmurry, local Sinn Féin councillor Paul Butler has said. The Lisburn councillor was speaking after the latest in a series of sectarian attacks against Catholic-owned businesses in the County Antrim village.

attack on Kingsway Cars last week was the third time the business had been targeted by loyalists in the last two months. A number of petrol bombs were thrown over the front fence but caused little damage. Last month, attackers sprayed petrol on to cars and attempted to set the vehicles alight.

Commenting on the attack, the owner Laurence Murtagh said that some people had decided they did not want Catholics to work or live in the area. ``This is a sectarian attack designed to drive us out of business,'' he said.

increase in the number of attacks on Catholic-owned property has been accompanied by an upsurge in attacks on Catholics living in the Dunmurry area. On Friday night, a taxi driver was attacked and the windows of his vehicle smashed as he drove along the Glenburn Road at around 4pm.

On Saturday, a father and son were set upon by a crowd of loyalists near Ballyskeagh. The two were identified as Catholics by the gang because the son was wearing a Celtic football shirt.

On Sunday evening, a youth walking from the nearby nationalist Poleglass estate to return a video at a local store was attacked by a crowd of loyalists in Kingsway. The young man's car was repeatedly kicked by the gang as he tried to drive away.

According to Sinn Féin's Paul Butler, there have been over 70 sectarian attacks on Catholic businesses, schools and churches in Dunmurry within the last three years. A dossier of sectarian attacks in the area has been compiled with a view to presenting the details to the Dublin government.

Meanwhile, the Lisburn Councillor described a meeting organised last week by the RUC's Police Liaison Committee and held in a local hotel as ``nothing more than a farce.'' Sinn Féin representatives joined local people to protest by holding a picket outside the Beechlawns Hotel.

``It is totally hypocritical to call a meeting at which this RUC-controlled body is going to discuss how community safety can be improved in the Dunmurry area,'' said Paul Butler.''The reality is that the RUC has done very little to protect the Catholic community of Dunmurry from an organised and concerted campaign to drive them out of the area.''

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