PSNI behind loyalist ‘mob rule’

The PSNI have been accused of facilitating the KKK-style intimidation of a Catholic family in Larne.

The family, who did not want to be identified, said they were horrified when a crowd of up to 80 masked loyalists gathered outside their home on July 26.

Incredibly, the PSNI had escorted the gang to their home.

“I was standing there looking out,” the mother of the terrified family said.

“To me they’re known paramilitaries and easily over 90 per cent of them had their faces obscured.”

The mother said that she feared that the gang were about to attack her home at the Old Glenarm Road.

Two weeks earlier, a 100-strong loyalist mob attacked several homes and vehicles in Larne. One man was attacked by the mob and is seriously ill in hospital.

A PSNI spokesman defended its decision not to arrest anyone involved in the intimidation march, which was illegal. It said what it described as a “protest” had been a “challenging policing operation”.

“During such incidents police actions, which will be appropriate and proportionate, are designed to minimise the risk to life and property. That is not always an easy task.”

Sinn Fein councillor Oliver McMullan said the PSNI had surrendered to “mob rule” during the protest.

“What is going on in Larne if police allow a parade at midnight that is attended by people with their faces covered?” he asked.

“What kind of message is this sending out to the people of Larne?”

A Catholic church on the outskirts of Rasharkin in County Antrim was also attacked.

Windows were broken at St Columba’s Church in what Sinn Fein assembly member Daithi McKay said was a “sickening and reprehensible act”.

The attack on the Bendooragh Road church is the latest in a spate of such incidents in north Antrim.


Meanwhile, a woman whose nine-year-old son was struck by a baseball bat by a gang who damaged her home in Rathcoole, north Belfast, has blamed the UDA for the attack.

Lisa Moore said her son Tyler was assaulted when the gang systematically vandalised rooms in her home at about 1.45am on Saturday.

The boy was kept in hospital overnight for observation. Ms Moore, who was uninjured, said they could not return to the house. She said she did not know why the UDA carried out the attack.

And a senior loyalist was last night accused of being in “total denial” after claims that the murder of Kevin McDaid had been accidental.

On Wednesday Jackie McDonald took part in a public debate at Feile An Phobail in west Belfast where he was asked to comment on the murder on the Catholic father-of-four who was beaten to death by a UDA mob outside his home in Coleraine in May.

“What happened that day, I regret that as a loyalist,” he said. “That did nothing for loyalism.”

Mr McDonald baffled the audience when he said he did not believe that the mob had planned any violence.

“I don’t think for one minute that those people went out that day to do anybody any harm... on behalf of the people who did it I don’t think they meant to do it,” he said. “It wasn’t what they set out to do.”

Sinn Fein councillor Billy Leonard slammed Mr McDonald’s comments.

“Jackie McDonald needs to take a reality check on Kevin’s murder and stop the total denial about the intent of Coleraine loyalists,” he said.

Mr Leonard said that the UDA leader’s version of events was in stark contrast to the attack as witnessed by Mr McDaid’s family and friends.

“McDonald’s line is that of denying a tragic reality which insults the McDaid family and the community in which they live,” he said.

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