28 August 2003 Edition

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Family forced to move

A woman whose North Belfast home has been the target of a series of sectarian attacks by loyalists has said she cannot take any more and is moving out.

In the latest attack by a loyalist gang, the living room window of her house on the Deerpark Road was smashed and plant pots were also damaged at the weekend.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of more attacks, said her daughter is too frightened to stay in the house.

"My oldest girl, who is seven, won't stay in the house any longer, so basically it's only me and my six-month-old child. This latest attack is the last straw. We are being attacked because we are Catholics and we have to get out before someone in my family is killed or seriously injured."

Several months ago, her cat was mutilated and thrown into her front garden and sectarian graffiti aimed at her and her neighbours has been spray painted onto houses in the street.

Oldpark Sinn Féin councillor Margaret McClenaghan has put the blame for the escalation in sectarian attacks on the UDA.

"It's definitely the work of the UDA. It seems they want to increase tensions around here for whatever reasons," she said. "This is a mixed area but there are at least two other Catholic families who have been ordered out of Deerpark by these UDA thugs."

McClenaghan has called on political and community activists from the unionist community to take leadership of this problem and put a stop to it at once.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1