Boy hospitalised after vicious loyalist beating

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A Catholic teenager has been hospitalised after being kicked in the head in a sectarian attack in Derry’s Waterside area.

The 15-year-old boy was assaulted in the Rossdowney Road area in a gang assault by loyalists after 10pm on Saturday.

The teen was walking with his friends when they were stopped outside a shop by a group of approximately thirty men. Four of their number then assaulted the boy, who sustained a number of kicks and punches to his head, torso and face.

The teenager managed to get to his feet and before being rescued by a member of the public in a vehicle. He was taken to hospital and was treated for bruising to his back and face, grazes to his arms and legs and a chipped tooth.

The boy was attacked after telling the group of youths that he supported Celtic FC.

The attack follows a sectarian assault on three men in the same area the previous weekend in which loyalist paramilitaries used hammers against their victims.

SDLP councillor Martin Reilly said the attack could have been much worse but for the intervention of the passing motorist.

“There is no place for this brutality in society and it is not indicative of the shared future to which we aspire.

“People across the Waterside will be keen to offer this young person their full support and all of us in positions of responsibility in society need to work together to stamp out sectarianism,” Mr Reilly said.

Sinn Féin councillor Christopher Jackson said Saturday’s incident was in the latest in a number of attacks on Catholics in Derry’s Waterside.

He said: “There have been families forced to leave their homes and property has been damaged. There is a concern that tensions are being deliberately raised.”

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