30 June 2005 Edition

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Attacks and assaults

A Catholic mother of two who was punched by a member of the PSNI as she took her four-year-old son into her Carrickhill home on Friday 17 June said she has lodged a complaint through her solicitor with the Police Ombudsmans.

Gráinne Doyle was struck on the shoulder by the PSNI member just hours after the loyalist 'Tour of the North' Orange parade.

Doyle said she ran to get her son off the street when around 30 loyalist hangers on from the parade, dressed in Glasgow Rangers shirts, came down Clifton Street.

"I ran out to get my son who was playing on his bike when a member of the PSNI came running over and punched me in the shoulder for no reason and said 'move'."

Sinn Féin Councillor Carál Ní Chuilín said she will be supplying a witness statement on the assault.

The incident came just hours after loyalists invaded Carrickhill at Regent Street, where hand to hand fighting broke out.

A number of windows of a pensioner's house in Hillman Street were also broken by loyalists around midnight on Friday.

The sectarian attacks in the Carrickhill area continued through to Tuesday, when a number of nationalist homes in Stanhope Street came under sustained sectarian attack on Tuesday


In a separate incident a gang of loyalists returned three times to the home of a Catholic woman in Whitewell and smashed a window.

Meanwhile, thousands of pounds of damage was caused to a Catholic Church after it was attacked by arsonists in a sectarian attack in the early hours of Thursday 16 June. The sectarian attackers forced open a side door of St John the Evangelist's Church in Craigavon and started several fires.

In 1995 the Church was subjected to an arson attack by loyalist paramilitaries which led to major renovations.

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