Irish Republican News · January 31, 2008
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Child victim of sectarian assault

A Toomebridge schoolboy was assaulted on Thursday as he waited for a school bus in what the PSNI have admitted was an anti-Catholic attack.

Fourteen-year-old Enda Kennedy sustained a fractured eye socket and a badly bruised face after two youths attacked him from behind outside the Northern Regional College in Antrim.

His father Damien Kennedy said last night that every week there was a gang waiting for Enda and his friends.

He said he thought the Bebo website was being used to organise the intimidation.

South Antrim Sinn Féin Assembly member Mitchel McLaughlin condemned the attack.

"I have been in contact with the family, who have informed me that their son is traumatised and in fear of a recurrence of the incident," he said.


Meanwhile, tourists on a tour of Ireland were targeted by unionists last week in a sectarian-type attack in Belfast.

Their 'Paddywagon Tours' bus was set alight while parked outside a tourist hostel near Queen's University on Tuesday night. The bus was attacked because it was painted with shamrocks and leprechauns.

Tour organiser Steve McPhilemy described the attack as "a senseless act".

"The bus is a write-off at a cost to us of #65,000 ($74,000) and young Australian backpackers travelling with us have had to undergo the hassle and discomfort of seeing their bus burning outside our backpacker hostel."

It was the second attack the tour company had experienced, with two buses burned in 2000.

Mr McPhilemy said the company would not consider changing its buses as a result of the attack, suggesting Paddywagon Tours had a new slogan: "They may burn our buses but they shall never burn our spirit."


Unionists have also been blamed for a sectarian attack on a Catholic church in County Antrim.

A police spokesman said that sectarian graffiti was daubed around the walls of St Mary's Catholic Church in Bushmills, County Antrim, in the early hours of Friday morning.

It is the second time in recent years that KAT (Kill All Taigs) graffiti has been daubed on the walls of the church.

Sinn Féin councillor Oliver McMullan condemned the attack and called on anyone with information to contact the PSNI.

"I had hoped that this kind of attack was a thing of the past but obviously some people want to try and stir up sectarian tensions," he said.

* Two Catholic hotel workers have won more than 27,000 pounds compensation when they were dismissed after a sectarian campaign of terror on their workplace.

Days Hotel in the unionist Sandy Row area of south Belfast was petrol-bombed in 2005 after the two managers disciplined local workers at the hotel.

Food and beverage managers Riccardo Cafolla and Stephen Mooney, from the city, were forced out after supervisors feared further reprisals. One anonymous caller threatened Mr Cafolla, telling him he was a "dead man walking".

The two were dismissed for deliberate falsification of records, a charge which the tribunal ruled out.

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© 2008 Irish Republican News