Irish Republican News · July 27, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Celtic poster sparks sectarian pogrom

One man was thrown through a window as a loyalist mob attacked the homes of three families in County Antrim at the weekend.

Nine people, five from the same family, and all but one Catholic, were forced to flee their homes in Carrickfergus when a gang set upon them.

Eight loyalists entered a house in the Thomas St area of the town at around 7pm on Saturday and assaulted the male occupants.

One of the men was thrown through the front window onto the street and suffered a broken nose, a broken cheekbone, cuts and bruising. The second man was also set upon in the house and suffered minor injuries.

At the time of the attack there were two children upstairs. A poster hanging in a child’s bedroom of Glasgow Celtic football team, generally identified with the nationalist community, is believed to have led to the attacks.

Two other homes were also attacked and the people living in both properties were forced to flee and are now living in temporary accommodation.

A woman who was in the house during the incident described the episode as horrific.

“When we opened the door a whole gang pushed their way in,” she said. “They wrecked the house.”

“They started beating (the two men) and calling them names, they said they would burn us out.

“Eventually the police arrived. We knew we had to get out.”

Sinn Fein councillor Oliver McMullan said of the attack: “Intimidation is rife, there is a policy of trying to get nationalists out.”

* Another County Antrim family fled their home today after it came under gun attack in the early hours of this morning.

The bullets narrowly missed the children’s bedrooms in a miraculous escape for the family, who were all upstairs at the time.

The family were said to be shocked and have abandoned their home in mainly loyalist Portrush.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News