A pensioner who was attacked while trying to defend her son and grandson has described being held over a railing and punched in the face by a unionist paramilitary.
The 70-year-old woman suffered a broken nose and cheekbone in the assault outside her home in Newtownards, County Down, on Sunday evening.
The woman was attacked after going to the aid of her son and grandson. The incident occurred shortly after her 19-year-old grandson had been involved in a verbal exchange on the street.
Two cars then arrived on the scene and a gang jumped out, she said.
“They ran across that road shouting who they were [the UDA]. There was a whole lot on to my grandson and there was a whole lot on to my son.
“I went up to one of them and said: ‘My son has nothing to do with this’.
“I was thrown out of the road with him behind me and he put my back on the railings and he pressed me right back.
“He was holding me over the railing with one hand while he punched me with the other for absolutely nothing.
“I never saw brutality like it in my life. Animals in the jungle behave better.
“It was us pensioners built the country for the young ones coming up. We built it to get faces like this at 70 years of age. My goodness, it’s unreal.”
The pensioner, her grandson and son all required hospital treatment following the incident.
A loyalist band parade organised to commemorate the death of a teenage paramilitary who blew himself up with a pipe bomb passed off quietly on Friday, despite the ominous presence of former UDA ‘brigadier’ Andre Shoukri.
The Parades Commission had permitted 17 bands to attend the Tigers Bay march in memory of Glen ‘Spacer’ Branagh, who died while attacking Catholics at the interface area 10 years ago. In the end just five bands attended the march, which passed the interface with the Catholic community of Duncairn Gardens without incident.
A more gentile form of sectarianism was on show in London this week when members of the anti-Catholic Orange Order descended on Number 10, Downing Street to insist that a Catholic is never allowed to be in line to the English throne.
They rallied at the offices of the British Prime Minister to oppose the proposed lifting of a ban on those in line to the throne from marrying a Catholic.
The Orangemen delivered a letter setting out concerns that proposed changes to Britain’s Act of Settlement could allow a Catholic to become a king or queen. The change would mean splitting the role of the English monarch from that as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Jeffrey Donaldson, Ulster Democratic Unionist MP for Lagan Valley, said: “We urge upon our government today to think carefully about the course they are embarked upon and its consequences for our sovereign, for our church and for our nation.”