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11 March 2004 Edition

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Catholic man left for dead

A 38-year-old nationalist man from Glenarm in County Antrim is recovering in hospital nearly two weeks after he received a severe beating at the hands of loyalists.

Joe Davey had been having a quiet drink in the Schooner public house in Glenarm when sectarian insults were hurled at him by three well known loyalists.

Davey left the bar to avoid any trouble but was followed outside by the three loyalists, who set upon him, hitting him with a bottle leaving him with head injuries and severe bruising to his body. The assailants left Davey lying in the middle of the road, leaving local people to speculate that the loyalists were hoping a car would hit Davey and finish him off.

The PSNI are treating the incident as a road traffic accident but Davey's mother said "the dogs in the street know what happened to Joe and who was involved in this attempted murder".

"The PSNI have came up with this ridiculous suggestion that Joe Davey was knocked down by a car," said Moyle Sinn Féin Councillor Oliver McMullen. "If they believe that how do they account for the footprints left on Mr Davey's back and side? The PSNI should be trying to apprehend these sectarian thugs instead of making these absurd suggestions."

McMullan added that Davey has a hearing impediment which would have made it McMullan said this latest sectarian attack is the ninth in the last number of months.

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