Irish Republican News · March 8, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Sectarian attacks follow Celtic success

Houses and cars of Catholic residents in north Belfast were attacked last night in disturbances linked to a soccer match in Glasgow.

Sectarian attacks on the area predictably follow games between Celtic and Rangers, largely supported by Catholics and Protestants respectively.

In last night's attack, one privately-owned home on Charnwood Avenue had six windows broken, and a number of cars were also attacked.

One resident said people had been in their houses when up to five or six youths arrived with planks and hammers.

``They went round the houses and cars smashing the windows. One car was left without a single window in it, and in one house a woman with a child was left very shaken,'' he said.

``This happens every time there is a Rangers and Celtic match.''

Sinn Féin councillor Caral Ni Chuilin called on unionist representatives to keep control of people drinking after football games.

``People are in shock -- it is very lucky that someone wasn't hurt,'' she said.

``These attacks have happened before and are almost a predictable occurrence when Celtic-Rangers matches are on''.

SDLP assembly member Alban Maginness also said he was ``gravely concerned and disturbed'' by the attacks.

``This area has been very quiet for quite some time and one would have hoped that it had become more settled,'' he said.

``Unfortunately there are elements in the community who wish to disrupt the peace and quiet of this residential area, and I would call on all responsible elements in the community to prevent any further outbreaks.

``I hope the PSNI will take immediate action to stop any such attacks occurring again.''

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© 2004 Irish Republican News