The priest hero who famously went to the defence of besieged Catholic schoolgirls in Belfast’s Ardoyne in the face of loyalist attacks is moving against his wishes to Paris, as a chaplain to English-speaking residents there.
Father Aidan Troy became a household name seven years ago during the infamous loyalist blockade of Holy Cross girls’ primary school in the Catholic enclave of north Belfast.
As chairman of the school governors, the Wicklow-born priest accompanied the young children to and from the school daily, shielding them and their parents from loyalist abuse, missiles and even a blast bomb.
Fr Troy admitted that he would prefer to stay in his high-profile post in Belfast, but, as a religious who took the vow of obedience, he was bowing to the decision of his superiors.
He said he he was “broken hearted” about leaving.
“Paris would not have been my choice, but I was asked to take this move and one of the vows I have made is obedience, so I couldn’t say no”, he added.
He also admitted that he did not know why he was leaving Belfast. “They did not give any reason,” he said.
* The Mayor of Lisburn burned a poster of Sinn Féin councillor Paul Butler at last month’s Eleventh Night bonfire event in Stoneyford, it has emerged.
The village of Stoneyford has become synonymous with sectarian intimidation and violence after several Catholic families were forced to leave in the past year.
Mr Butler had worked to expose the plight of Stoneyford Catholics at Lisburn Council, which is dominated by unionist extremism.
Mr Butler has met with the Equality Commission to lodge a formal complaint over the actions of Ulster Unionist Ronnie Crawford.
“It’s disgraceful that he associated himself with an event like this at a time when Catholics are being forced from their homes in Stoneyford in a campaign of loyalist sectarian intimidation,” he said.
“There is an obligation on Lisburn City Council and the Mayor to promote good relations, not damage community relations.”
* A bus carrying members of a republican flute band from west Belfast was attacked on Sunday as they returned from a Hunger Strike march in Derry.
It is believed four hooded men threw two breeze-blocks at the bus between Drumahoe and Dungiven in County Derry. One smashed through a window where young children were sitting.
* There have been a series of petrol bomb attacks in Derry this wek at the interface with the loyalist Fountain estate.
The petrol bombs were thrown both into the nationalist Upper Bennett Street area and into the Fountain estate.
None of the petrol bombs caused any injuries or damage to property.