Loyalist bombers shatter early morning calm
By Catherine O'Hagan and Peadar Whelan.
``It was definitely the UDA. I'm gutted and disgusted about how a
human being could do that to another fellow''.
These were the words of Larne man John Shaw, in the aftermath of
a bomb attack that was meant to kill him, but seriously injured
his companion Tommy Baxter on Sunday morning, 1 October.
A pub in Larne, frequented by loyalists displayed a sign
saying ``no dogs or Taigs''.
Shaw and two friends had gone to dig fishing bait on the shore of
Belfast Lough, near Magheramourne at about 8.30am on Sunday, when
the attack occurred. The wounded man was rushed to the Royal
Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where he underwent emergency
surgery for serious leg injuries. Shaw and the third, un-named
man, were treated for shock.
Shaw, who had been on this stretch of shoreline the previous day,
believes his movements were being monitored. Loyalists planted
their device at a pathway, worn out of the rough grass, that runs
from the roadway to the railway line, along the picturesque lough
The loyalists booby trap bomb was detonated when Baxter, himself
a Protestant, walked through the trip wire.
37-year-old Shaw has been targeted by loyalist bombers before. In
1997 a device exploded under his van, in which he was carrying
his partner and young daughter, in Larne town. Luckily none of
the three were badly injured.
John Shaw's uncle Bertie, was himself shot dead by the UDA in
1993, ironically as he dug for bait at the lough shore near
Shaw's family including his cousin Bertie Shaw junior, the son of
UDA victim Bertie senior, have been on the receiving end of
loyalist attacks over the years.
Over the years, nationalists in places like Larne have
experienced a low-key sectarian campaign, whereby loyalists used
intimidation to `keep the Taigs' in their place.
A pub in Larne, frequented by loyalists, displayed a sign saying
``no dogs or Taigs''. The message was clear enough for those who