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8 May 1997 Edition

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Priest targeted in sectarian attack

THE HOME OF CATHOLIC priest Father Joe Coulter was the target of a sectarian attack in the early hours of Sunday morning 4 May. Fr Coulter narrowly escaped injury when a huge rock was hurled through his sitting room window in the loyalist Newbuildings village just outside Derry.

Sunday's attack was the fourth on Coulter's home in 12 year and he described it as one of the ``nastiest experiences'' he has ever suffered.

This latest attack comes amid rising tension in Newbuildings with DUP councillor William Hay warning that villagers are threatening to, ``physically'' keep Derry City supporters out and accused supporters of the club of ``republican coat trailing''.

Meanwhile Fr Coulter has disclosed that up to sixty Catholic families have been intimidated out of Newbuildings in the past ten years. Speaking to the Derry Journal Coulter said that in one case a ``man who lived in Newbuildings all his life had his windows smashed 50 times''.

Speaking to An Phoblacht local government candidate for the Waterside area Lynn Fleming said that the Newbuildings area had ``an on-going sectarian problem that was particularly bad for families with children. Teenagers were living like prisoners as they had to be kept indoors when they come home from school''.

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An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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