Republican News · Thursday 07 September 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Loyalists in hammer attack

Ormeau Road residents saved a man from serious injury or death when they frightened off a loyalist gang who were attacking him.

In the incident, which occurred last Sunday night, 3 September, the man was assaulted in Farnham Street in the Lower Ormeau Road area by the loyalists, who beat him with hammers.

According to Sinn Féin councillor for the area Sean Hayes, a number of men jumped from a car and ``set about the man who was on his way home.

``They beat him repeatedly with the hammers and had it not been for the intervention of local people, he would have received more serious injuries. He might even have been killed.''

The assailants' car was later found burned out in the loyalist Ravenhill Road area.

``Sinn Féin have, for the last number of weeks, warned nationalists that loyalists would at some stage attempt to kill nationalists,'' said Hayes. ``I urge nationalists across Belfast to remain vigilant, especially as the loyalist feud continues.''

RUC allow attacks on Carrickhill homes

In the most recent attack on the homes of nationalists living in the Carrickhill area of North Belfast, the RUC arrested one of the loyalists involved but then released him.

Carrickhill, a small nationalist enclave situated at the bottom of the Shankill Road, has suffered sustained loyalist attacks. Five houses were paint bombed three weeks ago by the UDA.

In the latest attack on Saturday 2 September, stones, bottles and other missiles were thrown at homes. According to Sinn Féin Assembly member for the area Gerry Kelly, when the RUC arrived they caught one of the attackers.

Kelly said that a taxi driver who witnessed the attack and the subsequent arrest went to the RUC and identified the man as one of the attackers, but reported that ``the RUC showed no interest in the witness and refused to talk to him about the incident. The RUC then let the man they had captured go''.

Kelly accused the RUC of facilitating attacks on nationalists: ``This incident once again shows that the RUC are unwilling to deal with loyalists attacking Catholics. Their actions on Saturday night helped to facilitate attacks on nationalist homes and sends out the message to loyalists that they can carry out attacks at will.''

RUC coercion in Derry

The RUC tried to recruit a young man as an informer when they stopped him in the Creggan area of Derry last week.

The young man, who wishes to remain anonymous, did not have the correct documentation for his car when stopped by the RUC. He asked if he would end up in court but an RUC member at the scene replied that this needn't be the case if the young man, ``cooperated'' with them. The RUC man said that there were a few people in the area who they [the RUC] were interested in.

Sinn Féin Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn says the same RUC men stopped the young man again the following day and asked him to go to Strand Road RUC barracks. They gave him the name of someone to ask for.

``When the young man didn't go, the RUC members came and sat outside his home,'' said MacLochlainn. ``This young man is now terrified of going out in case the RUC are waiting for him. I am calling for this harassment and mental torture to stop immediately.''

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