Irish Republican News · August 16, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Family flees loyalist fire-bomb campaign

Another family has been forced to leave the under-siege village of Ahoghill after sectarian paint bombers launched new attacks on a Catholic chapel, school and house.

Pressure mounted on unionists to demand an end to the “ethnic cleansing” of the County Antrim village after the family had to flee their home, fearing for their lives.

This is the latest in a campaign by loyalists to intimidate Catholics from the predominantly Protestant village.

Several bottles of paint were thrown at the house in Tudor Vale on the outskirts of the village last night at around 11.30pm.

And paint bombs were also thrown at St Joseph’s School and St Mary’s Church at Ballynafie Road this morning.

One paint bomb was thrown at a window of the school and a second on to the driveway of the church.

The attacks came a week after Catholic residents in Ahoghill were issued with fire blankets and smoke alarms as police effectively abandoned residents to the fire-bombers.

Pat McGaughey, and her husband, also called Pat, whose home was targeted last night, said they will leave the area as they now fear for their lives.

Mrs McGaughey said: “We are not going to be like other Catholics and tolerate several attacks.

“We are not going to risk our lives. Our lives are more important than any building. I could not settle here. It was paint this time, but what next?”

Fears are rising that the continued intimidation of Catholic families in the area could soon end in tragedy and anger is growing over the DUP’s silence.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan accused the area’s MP Ian Paisley of preferring to pretend that nothing is happening.

He said: “This is extraordinary hypocrisy from the man who never hesitates to point the finger whenever others use violence.

“The SDLP is again demanding that Ian Paisley come out and condemn the attacks on his own constituents on his own doorstep.”

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Antrim Philip McGuigan said: “It is time for the DUP to bring to an end the discrimination and domination which has created the atmosphere into which this violence has fed.”

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© 2005 Irish Republican News