Republican News · Thursday 01 June 2000

[An Phoblacht]

March tension rising on Springfield Road

``Loyalists are targeting people in this area to put pressure on them in the run up to next month's march'', said Springfield Resident's Group spokesperson John McGivern.

McGivern was speaking to An Phoblacht after it emerged that loyalists attempted to abduct a youth on Springfield Road last Saturday, 20 May.

The youth, who had just left his mother's house to go to a nearby chip shop, says that a car, containing two men, mounted the footpath and blocked him at Springfield Avenue and Springfield Road junction.

One of the men called him a ``fenian bastard'' just before they drove across his path. The man then jumped from the car and chased the teenager through waste ground on the Springfield Road.

The youth says the loyalist, a man in his 20s, almost caught up with him a couple of times but that he kept running and eventually the loyalist gave up the chase.

A second incident occurred at approximately the same time when loyalists in a car broke the window of the Orient Bar at the junction of Cupar Street and Springfield Road.

Witnesses to this incident, which happened about 200 yards from the attempted abduction, were not able to say if the two were related.

Eyewitnesses told An Phoblacht that after the attack, the car drove across Lanark Way towards the Shankill Road and soon afterwards the RUC closed the security gate.

``It has been the pattern, over the years, for loyalist attacks on this community to increase tension in the run up to June's Orange march. The attacks are aimed at intimidating the local population,'' explained McGivern. ``Ninety-nine per cent of the people along the road from Workman Avenue to Dunboyne Avenue object to this march, yet every year it is given the go ahead. We will continue to protest against it.''

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