27 April 2000 Edition

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Loyalist youths terrorise Belfast residents


Loyalist mobs are terrorising nationalist residents in West Belfast almost every night, says Sinn Fein's Lower Falls councillor, Fra McCann.

On Sunday 16 April, loyalist youths smashed a hole in the Finn Square-Dover Street peace line and threw bricks and bottles towards houses at Finn Square in the Divis area, where many young children were playing.

Jean Groves, a resident of Finn Square, told An Phoblacht: ``We are under siege. Youths were standing on the wall shouting abuse and throwing bricks for most of Sunday. Most people who live here are elderly or have disabilities. My 75-year-old mother, who is in the final stages of Alzheimer's disease, and my brother, who suffers from cerebral palsy, both live here with me.

``My neighbour's two-year-old grandchild was playing in their back garden when the loyalists started throwing the bricks. When she went out to fetch the child, she was struck with a bottle.''

Finn Square resident Philomena Mullan said that when she went out to her back yard, she was met with torrents of verbal abuse from the loyalist youths before they pelted her with bricks and bottles, one of which struck her on the head. Several of her windows were also smashed. Many of the houses have now erected grills on their windows and doors to prevent further damage.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1