8 October 2009 Edition

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Mother and baby attacked after British Army parade

LOYALISTS attending a so-called ‘homecoming’ parade in Antrim last Saturday for British soldiers returning from Afghanistan attacked a young mother and her baby.
Antrim Sinn Féin Councillor Anthony Brady said a group of sectarian thugs attacked the woman’s car with her child on board and added:
“I am disgusted at hearing that a car containing a child was attacked by a bunch of sectarian thugs.
“I understand that the PSNI was called but did not appear until after the loyalists had dispersed. The woman, the child and a number of people nearby were intimidated and goaded by loyalist thugs brandishing unionist paraphernalia and flags.”
Brady maintained that tensions were high in advance of the British Army parade through the town, with loyalist supporters lining the route.
“It was obvious that there was an orchestrated attempt to bring large numbers of loyalists into Antrim to support this parade.”

PIPE-BOMB
In recent weeks, loyalists planted a pipe-bomb outside the home of a nationalist family with GAA connections in Antrim. In the summer, loyalist paramilitary flags were erected outside St Comgall’s Catholic Church.  
In other sectarian incidents, fans of Derry City soccer club were attacked as they returned home from a Setanta Cup match against Linfield also on last Saturday, 3 October.
Buses carrying Derry supporters were stoned as they drove through the predominantly loyalist village of Drumahoe, on the outskirts of Derry.
Windows in one vehicle were broken while a number of City fans suffered minor cuts from broken glass.

THREAT TO ANNA LO
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Chinese-born Alliance Assembly member Anna Lo was named in racist threats just hours before she addressed a ‘cross-community’ church group in Coleraine, County Derry.
She went ahead and addressed the group on Friday 2 October  despite having been warned on Thursday that both herself and the group she was to address would be attacked if the talk went ahead.
Coleraine has been at the centre of controversy since loyalists killed Catholic Kevin McDaid in The Heights area of the town in May this year.
This latest threat, directed at Lo, emphasises the sectarian and racist nature of loyalism.

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