27 July 2000 Edition

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Loyalists intimidate Catholic holiday makers

A West Belfast mother and her ten year old son were the target of sectarian thugs at a Spanish holiday resort.

Joan Mateer and ten year old Joseph travelled to Fuengorola on the Costa del Sol for their annual holiday in July and were met with a torrent of abuse from loyalists who were staying in the same hotel.

According to Joan Mateer the loyalists subjected her and Joseph to a stream of sectarian abuse which included playing the Sash and flying loyalist flags, particularly over 11 July when the loyalists flew flags from their balconies.

The loyalists, who were from Belfast, also threatened the woman when she returned home.

Mateer who spent £1,500 on the holiday is now demanding an apology from travel agents Thomas Cook and Air Tours saying that Air Tours staff in the Spanish resort''did not want to know about what was happening''.

Mateer says she was terrified and on the return flight she was escorted on to the plane as the loyalists were travelling on the same flight. She had to get an RUC escort when she arrived in Belfast.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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