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18 March 1999 Edition

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Larne Firebomb attacks

Loyalists attacked a Larne family-of-seven in the mainly loyalist Craigyhill estate on Monday morning as a part of the ongoing campaign to intimidate Nationalists in the area.

Fortunately, the couple and their five young children escaped uninjured when the device that was thrown at their home burnt itself out in the garden.

One man who was too frightened to be named said, ``it is quite common practice around this estate, certain people have been trying to force Catholics out for a long time''.

It is believed there is a link between this attack and a similar incident in the area last week when a petrol bomb was thrown through a living room window and ignited a carpet in a house on the same estate.

Sinn Féin East Antrim representative Chrissie McAuley said, ``it is clear that loyalists in the town are intent on intimidating Catholics out of Larne. It is time for unionist and community leaders in the town to face up this reality.''

``If these attacks continue it is inevitable that somebody will be killed. Those carrying out such sectarian attacks in Larne are clearly well organised and are filling a political vacuum created by the failure of the UUP to implement the Good Friday agreement.''

``With the signing of the Good Friday Agreement the people of Larne and indeed across the Six Counties expected to be allowed to live free from sectarian harassment and intimidation.''

``Clearly there are still those within the loyalist community who are not prepared to allow Catholics living in isolated communities such as Larne this right.''

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An Phoblacht
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