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17 July 2003 Edition

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Sinn Féin calls on anti-social elements to stop attacks

A five-year-old Protestant boy sustained serious eye injuries in a sectarian attack at the weekend. In a separate incident, there was an arson attack on a Presbyterian hall in County Donegal.

The five-year-old was injured after the car he was travelling in with his father was attacked as they drove along Cromac Street in the Markets area of Belfast on Saturday 12 July. Curtis Martin underwent a five-hour operation to repair his damaged eye and facial injuries after he was hit with a brick.

South Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Alex Maskey deplored the attack, saying those "antisocial elements responsible should desist immediately.

"Those of us working in the community in that area have to make it clear to the people involved in this sort of activity that their actions are totally unacceptable and must stop," he said.

Meanwhile, an arson attack on Greenbank Presbyterian hall at Quigley's Point in County Donegal, in which the building was completely gutted in the early hours of Monday 14 July, is being linked to a similar attack a few hours earlier on a Derry Orange hall.

Sinn Féin's Mitchel McLaughlin said he sympathised with the congregation and urged the local population of all denominations to come together in support of the Presbyterian congregation.

"We have become accustomed to these type of unjustifiable attacks in the North over the years but Donegal has escaped such activities up until now. To those responsible I say you represent nobody but the small minded individuals that you are," he said.
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