Republican News · Thursday 26 October 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Sectarian attacks

A man badly injured during a sectarian gun attack in Coleraine at 6.45am on Wednesday 25 October has been attacked by loyalists on at least two other occasions. The man, who suffered two gunshot wounds to his hip and thigh, was taken to the nearby Coleraine Hospital, where his condition was described as serious but stable. This was the third time the injured man had been targeted by loyalists. After one incident the man, in his early 30s, was intimidated out of his home.

In Belfast, a number of shots were fired at Catholic workmen by a number of men wearing masks. The men were working on Innis Avenue in loyalist Rathcoole, north of Belfast on Tuesday afternoon when the incident occurred. The workmen, believed to have been from Derry, were ordered out of the estate.

Meanwhile, the RUC refused to intervene in a sectarian attack on a Catholic football player during an amateur league match between teams from Ardoyne and the Shankill at Woodvale playing fields on Saturday.

The Catholic team had earlier contacted football officials requesting a change of venue for the match because of fears for the team's safety. The Junior Club secretary is believed to have dismissed the Ardoyne team's fears and warned they would be thrown out of the league if they failed to play the match.

Trouble flared after a crowd supporting the Shankill team invaded the pitch and one Catholic player was attacked. A team official's appeal to the RUC to apprehend the culprit was ignored.

Last Friday, Catholic schoolchildren travelling home from Rathmore Grammar School narrowly escaped injury when their school bus was attacked by a stone throwing gang at Queensway, Dunmurry. Two schoolboys were treated at Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn for cuts to the head and other injured. Other children suffered minor cuts and bruising from flying glass. The gang, all masked, fled on foot into the loyalist Seymour Hill estate.

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