8 April 2004 Edition

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Loyalist attacks

• North Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Margaret McClenaghan has lashed out at the Ulster Political Research Group over its insistence that the UDA is not behind ongoing sectarian attacks on nationalist homes in Ardoyne.

The latest attacks in and around Ardoyne occurred on Saturday night 3 April when up to 20 loyalists, coming from the direction of Twaddell Avenue, attacked a number of Catholic-owned houses on the Crumlin Road, near the junction of Hesketh Park. Over the past number of weeks, several homes in Ardoyne, the Cliftonville Road area and in Westland Gardens have been attacked by members of the UDA.

• Sinn Féin Councillor Danny Lavery has slammed UDA death threats against a young Catholic family living in the Graymount area of North Belfast. The warning was passed to the family by the PSNI stating that it was from the UDA and that the family should leave the area immediately.

Over the last two years, Graymount, near the Whitewell Road on the outskirts of North Belfast, has seen almost 90 Catholics forced out of the area as a direct result of loyalist threats and harassment.

• Sinn Féin councillor Billy Leonard has accused loyalist paramilitaries of placing young children and families at great risk when they left an explosive device at the rear of a house in the nationalist Somerset area of Coleraine on Monday 5 April.

• An LVF attack on a GAA club in Holywood, County Down, is being seen as an attempt by the killer gang to intimidate the area's small Catholic and nationalist community. As well as the attack on the clubrooms of St Paul's GAC, the loyalist grouping has been involved in a campaign to erect paramilitary flags throughout Holywood and the nearby Knocknagoney area of East Belfast.

St Paul's is located close to the Loughview estate, which has recently seen a lot of loyalist paramilitary activity. The estate was the centre of media attention last week when four LVF members were convicted of erecting loyalist flags, the first such prosecution in the North.

• Four loyalists who were jailed on Wednesday 31 March for displaying loyalist paramilitary flags last year in Holywood, County Down, are the first people in the North to be jailed for such offences under so-called anti-terrorism legislation.

South Down assembly member Caitríona Ruane told An Phoblacht that the prosecution and jailing of the four loyalists has set a precedent for the rest of the Six Counties.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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