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24 August 2000 Edition

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New loyalist `hit list' targets up to 80 nationalists

Nationalists and republicans have again been warned to remain vigilant after a new hit list containing the names and details of up to 80 people was found last week during an RUC and British Army raid on farm buildings in Clough, Co. Down.

The Orange Volunteers have been active in the area these past few months, launching pipe bomb attacks on Catholic individuals and property.

The Sinn Féin Assembly member for the area, Mick Murphy, said several republicans in the South Down area were contacted by the RUC last Friday. Murphy added: ``They were told that their photographs and addresses were discovered during a planned search early this week.''

At least one Sinn Féin councillor and a number of other party members' details were on the list found among the British military documents. Some documents contain information from 1996 British Army files with details of nationalists living in Newcastle, Castlewellan and Newry.

Last Tuesday, British Crown forces raided a garage in Clough and a farmhouse on the outskirts of Dundrum. A prominent loyalist was arrested but later released without charge.

Mick Murphy said many questions must be answered. ``What other items were discovered besides these photographs and addresses?'' he asked. ``Where did these documents originate and why did it take five days to inform people concerned that their details are in the hands of loyalists?''

The Assembly member added that the photographs and addresses can be traced back to files that the British Army at the Ballykinler camp had been passing to loyalists for decades.

``A year ago, I called for this former internment camp to be decommissioned as a confidence building measure. Instead, a new £1.3 million training school for cadets was opened earlier this year''.

Sinn Féin is called on nationalists and republicans to be vigilant as the discovery of the hit list is proof that collusion is still a fact of life.

It is the second time in nine months that there is evidence of recent British military intelligence ending up in the hands of loyalists.

Last November, documents containing information about 400 nationalists and Republicans, the majority from Belfast and South Armagh, were found in Stoneyford Orange hall in Antrim.

Copies of these files were held by members of the Orange Volunteers. The files contained details about republicans from British Army files compiled after the current IRA cessation came into force.

 

Recent loyalist attacks on nationalists



August 14

Catholic residents in three homes in Ballymena are targeted by loyalists. Residents escape injury when paper and flammable liquid is poured through their letter boxes and set alight. One house in Knockeen Crescent is extensively damaged. A couple escape through a side window. Loyalists throw paint bombs through windows of two Catholic homes in Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim and a Catholic church in the town is targeted by arsonists.

A 50-year-old Catholic man is attacked by a loyalist gang wielding baseball bats and pick axe handles in Lisburn, Co. Antrim. Loyalists target the home of South Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Sean Hayes. A building facing Annadale street is attacked with paint bombs.

Two people escape injury when flammable liquid is poured through the letterbox of a flat in Mill Road, Newtownabbey. A Catholic home is attacked in the Bawnmore area of North Belfast. Petrol was poured through the letterbox and set alight shortly after 5.30am. The car used in the attack is later discovered in the loyalist Rathcoole area.

August 16

A young Larne couple were forced to leave their home after a paving slab was hurled at their home. The couple, a Catholic man and his Protestant girlfriend were one of a number of homes targeted in Larne. Five houses in Craigyhill estate were targeted.

One victim told AP/RN: ``Loyalist mobs have been openly acting in Larne, everyone in Larne knows who is behind this, yet the RUC have done nothing. I have had enough. It is time to get myself and my family out''.

In one incident a cross-bow bolt was fired through the window of a house where SDLP Assembly member Danny O'Connor's brother lives.

In Ballymena dozens of Catholic children, some as young as 8 years of age were forced to run the gaunlet of sectarian abuse after the bus in which they were travelling was attacked during a summer scheme outing.

August 17


Three Catholic homes in Barracks Street in the Lower Falls in Belfast are attacked shortly before midnight. Windows are smashed and paint bombs are thrown by loyalist mobs. One of the houses is the home of SDLP Counillor Margaret Walsh.

August 21

A crowd of 2000 people attending the official opening of the Clonard Rememberance Gardens are attacked from behind the peace line. Rocks, stones, bottle and bricks are hurled over the wall. Several people are injured, including a one-year-old child hit on the head by a stone.

 

Clonard rally attacked



Two thousand people marched through the Clonard area in Belfast last Sunday when a memorial garden in Bombay Street was officially opened.

The event was organised by the Greater Clonard ex-prisoners association

The crowd stopped at the home of local republican and GAA stalwart Dessi Reynolds, who died last Friday, and observed a minute's silence.

When the parade reached Bombay Street, Terry O'Neill welcomed the presence of Joe Cahill, Madge McConville, John Oliver and Greta Nolan, who unveiled the plaques at the garden remembering those from the area who have lost their lives in the conflict.

The main speaker was Albert Allen, chair of the Greater Clonard Ex-Prisoners Association. He said that the garden would be a memorial to those who lost their lives over the long years of the struggle and a way for their families and friends to honour their loved ones.

Allen also praised the people of the Clonard area for their determination to withstand British incarceration from the 1920s to the present day.

During the event, however, the crowd was however reminded of how far genuine peace is from being a reality. Loyalist gangs threw stones, bricks, bottles and other missiles over the peace line. There were several injuries, including to a one-year-old child, who was sleeping in her pram when she was hit on the head with a stone.

``Even on a day like this we are still being attacked by loyalist thugs,'' said Albert Allen. ``What they don't understand is that the people of this area have lived through the burning of our homes in 1969 and recent attacks. They will never lie down.''

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