Child attacked by loyalists

A thirteen-year-old girl was knocked out and lost her front teeth when a brick was thrown by loyalists over a west Belfast ‘peaceline’.

As she lay unconscious in Moyard Crescent play park, young Shannon Smyth was then attacked by the loyalist gang who had crossed from the loyalist Ballygomartin estate into the nationalist Springfield Road area.

Shannon was left with 15 stitches to her upper lip and also had injuries to her hand and arm.

Her mother Annamarie Donnelly described how she found her daughter “screaming and covered in blood.”

“Shannon had been waiting in the park for her wee friend to come up and meet her. She doesn’t remember anything about it as she was knocked out. She was seen sitting on a swing and a big stone went flying by her. When she turned to see where it came from she was hit up the face with a brick,” said her mother.

“The police say the brick came over the fence from the Ballygomartin direction. Shannon came to and ran to the Chinese takeaway at the top of the Whiterock Road and her brother saw her and called me. I got a taxi straight over.

“I’ll never forget what I saw. Shannon had blood all over her. Her lip was lying open like a fish’s mouth, it was split right open.”

Her mother said doctors suspect the injuries to Shannon’s hands may be bite marks inflicted by her attacker who may have assaulted her inside the park.

“The doctors think her right hand had been stamped on while her left hand may have been bitten. No-one knows what happened because nobody saw and Shannon was unconscious. Police think they were trying to break her wrists.”

In County Antrim, loyalists daubed the initials UFF and LVF on a GAA club in Rasharkin.

Meanwhile, a list claiming to name dozens of dissident republicans has been posted in loyalist areas of west Belfast.

It is understood hundreds of copies of the handwritten and photocopied list were thrown from a car in the lower Falls Road area earlier this week.

The single sheet of paper lists 57 names and reads: “ONH, ClRA, RIRA scum not wanted by community. Drug dealers, joyriders, hoods etc - name and shame them.”

One of those named on the list, Carl Reilly of pressure group Republican Network for Unity, said: “Whoever compiled this list was obviously well aware of the possible dangerous consequences of their actions when they distributed it.

“It’s plainly motivated to criminalise and endanger anyone who has committed the cardinal sin of being independent of mind, which in this current political climate seems to be enough to have you labelled a big bad dissident.”

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