22 January 2004 Edition
PSNI prolong sectarian nightmare
A mother from Ligoniel in Belfast, whose home has been attacked by loyalists score of times in the past number of years, has expressed disbelief at the PSNI over its refusal to give the go ahead for the Housing Executive to buy her home under the special purchase of evacuated dwellings scheme (SPED).
The woman, who lives in one of the first houses on the nationalist side of the Ligoniel Road in North Belfast, said that when she filled in a SPED application to move to a safer area, the PSNI refused to confirm she was the target of sectarian attacks. The mother, whose partner Kevin Flood was shot dead by the UVF in September 1991, said that without the PSNI chief constable's certificate, the Housing Executive cannot purchase her house.
A relative of the woman, who contacted the SPED department of the PSNI on her behalf, also complained about the attitude of the PSNI member she spoke to.
"He was the most ignorant man and nasty person I have ever come across," she said. "I asked him if it would take a death before the PSNI would act and he said it would."
Sinn Féin Councillor for North Belfast, Eoin Ó Broin, said the woman is living in fear of her life. "The response of the PSNI to this case is disgraceful," he said. "This mother is living in fear of the next sectarian attack and can't sleep at night. The PSNI should release a certificate immediately so she can live in safety. The PSNI are trying to convince themselves that these sectarian attacks by gangs of loyalists are a figment of people's imagination".