Upsurge in sectarian attacks

A Catholic primary school and a Gaelic sports club have been targeted in an orchestrated series of sectarian attacks at the weekend.

A pipe bomb was found at St Paul’s Primary School near Ahoghill, while the nearby Crosskeys Road, between Ballymena and Ahoghill, was also closed off due to another alert.

A third device was found outside Casement’s GAA club in nearby Portglenone, while there was a fourth incident in the village of Portstewart, leading to the evacuation of two homes.

North Antrim Sinn Fein Assembly member Daithi McKay condemned the attacks.

Mr McKay said: “These attacks are not only sectarian they are an attack on children and those behind this are nothing short of sick individuals.

“This isn’t the first time the GAA club in Portglenone has been targeted and neither is it the first sectarian attack of its type in Ahoghill either.

“It is abhorrent that the Catholic and nationalist communities in these areas continue to be singled out by a minority of sectarian bigots within the wider community”.

Elsewhere, a device destroyed a Catholic family’s car outside their house in Garvagh, County Derry.

Just yards away a second device struck a house, breaking a window and causing scorch damage.

Both families have young children aged between three and 13. Local politicians described the incidents as “sinister” and “shocking”.

Meanwhile, packages containing bullets have been sent to Celtic football manager Neil Lennon as well as two other Celtic players, Niall McGinn and Paddy McCourt.

It’s understood the post was intercepted by Royal Mail staff at their sorting office in Mallusk, County Antrim, earlier this week.

The envelopes, which had Lennon and McGinn’s names stencilled onto them, were taken away for examination after local postal workers alerted police.

It’s understood the mail was addressed to the official home of Celtic football club in Glasgow.

Lurgan-born Lennon has received other threats in the past, quitting his playing career for ‘Northern Ireland’ in 2002 after a warning from sectarian gangs.

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2011 Irish Republican News