Irish Republican News · September 14, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Sectarian attack in Derry

The PSNI police have been criticised for failing to protect nationalists in Derry’s Waterside after loyalists entered a Catholic home and attacked two men.

A gang forced entry to a house near Glendermott Road around 2am on Monday and assaulted two male occupants.

The assault follows a number of sectarian attacks on people and property in the predominantly nationalist Triangle area - incorporating the area within Glendermott Road, Dungiven Road and Clooney Terrace.

Other attacks on Catholic property in the area have also been reported in recent days.

Sinn Féin’s Lynn Fleming said yesterday’s attack could heighten fear among nationalist residents in the Triangle area.

Meanwhile, loyalists are thought to have caused extensive damage to a Catholic church in Portadown.

St John the Baptist’s Church on the Garvaghy Road was targeted in the early hours of Saturday.

Smoke and water damage was caused to the main building, which is currently under renovation, after a door overlooking the car park was set alight.

About seven sheets of chipboard, left by builders, were also set on fire inside the church.

Curate Fr John McCallion said it was a miracle that the entire building did not go up in flames.

“The entire parish is distraught at this malicious incident. We are very annoyed, because we had worked hard and raised funds to pay for the renovations and then something like this happens,” he said. “It is a sad event and one which I thought we had seen the last of.”

The church has been targeted several times in the past.

It was the centre of international attention during the major marching stand-offs of the 1990s, after Portadown Orangemen were banned from marching past the church and down the Garvaghy Road. In 1997, church-goers were unable to attend Mass after British forces entered the area by night, imposed a security cordon and forced an Orange march through.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News