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10 July 2003 Edition

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Sectarian intimidation must be tackled

It was revealed in a Housing Executive report on Saturday 5 July that almost 90 families have been intimidated from their homes in Antrim in the past year.

Sinn Féin has expressed concern over the figure and said the vast majority of the cases were of Catholics being forced from their homes by unionist paramilitaries.

Housing Executive area manager Frank O'Connor revealed that 15% of the 329 people who were found to be statutory homeless were forced to leave their homes because of intimidation.

Sinn Fein Antrim councillor Martin Meehan said that over the last year Catholic families have been subjected to a series of pipe and petrol bombings attacks by unionist paramilitaries forcing them to abandon their homes.

Meanwhile, residents in Antrim Town have spoken of their fear as gangs of teenage loyalists roam the town armed with sticks studded with nails intimidating local nationalists.
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