Driver saves life of man in loyalist mob attack
Driver saves life of man in loyalist mob attack

A young Catholic man was knocked unconscious in a random sectarian attack on Monday as a gang of twenty loyalists kicked and punched him.

Gerald Higgins said a motorist stopped her car to help him but she was also attacked.

The gang chased after him and attacked him again before he was able to alert staff at a petrol station on the Donegall Road in south Belfast.

Mr Higgins was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital from where he had just come after visiting a friend.

He said the crowd, who were aged between 15 and 20, surrounded him and began punching him on the head.

They pushed him against a wall and rummaged through his pockets. They shouted at him, demanding to know where he was from and where he was going.

When he struggled to reply they said: “He’s stuttering. Get him. He’s a taig [Catholic].”

“They were saying ‘kill the taig’,” Mr Higgins said.

He said he was “trailed” to the ground and “punched and kicked by all of them”.

“My legs were up on the footpath and my head was on the road,” he said.

Mr Higgins said he blacked out and that when he regained consciousness a motorist had stopped and was shouting at the crowd to stop.

“They were fighting with the woman,” he said. “I heard [her] screaming, trying to help me.”

His family credited the woman for helping to save his life.


Police in Scotland were called to Celtic soccer stadium in Glasgow after a suspect package believed to have contained a bullet and addressed to Celtic manager Neil Lennon was found.

Two bombs previously sent to Lennon and one each to two prominent Celtic fans and the offices of Cairde Na H’Eireann (Friends of Ireland) in Glasgow were intercepted last month.

It name after an attack on Lennon by a hate-filled fan at the stadium of Hearts football club in Edinburgh on Wednesday night.

A loyalist clambered from the section of the main stand on to the pitch during a match and made towards Lennon.

The manager, who has had to live with round-the-clock security after death threats in the past, was said to have been left shaken by the incident.


A grenade was thrown at a PSNI police patrol in Derry on Monday, but failed to explode.

The attack happened in the Creggan area of Derry on Monday evening as the PSNI were investigating a hoax attack.

The PSNI said the device was a “viable military hand grenade” and claimed children could have been struck by shrapnel. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“I think it was absolutely disgraceful,” said Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness. “Putting people’s lives at risk is not what the vast majority of our people want.”

Last November, a grenade was thrown at a PSNI patrol in west Belfast, injuring three of them.

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