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13 October 2000 Edition

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Loyalists glass GAA pitch

Children as young as four could have suffered serious injury after loyalists scattered the glass from dozens of bottles across a County Derry GAA pitch.

The attack on the O'Donovan Rossa club in Magherafelt was discovered on Friday morning 6 October by club officials, who are now accusing those involved of targeting children who would have been involved in coaching sessions over the weekend.

As well as the broken glass, loyalist graffiti, including `Magherafelt UVF' and `Trick or Treat', was daubed on the pavilion walls.

Officials of the club were particularly incensed by the `Trick or Treat' graffiti, a reference to the UDA killings of customers at the Rising Sun bar in Greysteel, also in County Derry, in 1993.

The officials estimate that about 40 lbs of glass was picked up off the playing surface and it took two men to lift the bags, leading them to believe the attack was planned.

Two years ago, the same club was the target of loyalist bombers. A workman involved in the refurbishment of the club was injured when he lifted a breeze block and detonated a booby trap bomb that had been concealed under it. Fortunately, in that instance the man was not badly injured.

Sean Brown a senior member of the Bellaghy Wolfe Tones club, was abducted and killed by loyalists in 1997. In 1998, Fergal McCusker, who played for Maghera GAA, was shot dead by loyalists who went on a killing spree throughout the North after the killing of death squad leader Billy Wright.

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An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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