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14 November 2002 Edition

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Schoolboy beaten in Antrm

A 13-year-old schoolboy suffered head and face injuries after he was attacked by a ten strong gang of loyalists in Antrim.

The boy had just left a cinema and was on his way home late last Saturday afternoon, when the gang struck. They are believed to be from the Ulster Young Militants, the UDA's youth wing.

The boy was beaten about the head and punched in the face, leaving him with a severe nose bleed.

The attackers, aged about 17 and upwards, fled when a PSNI patrol arrived. The PSNI failed to arrest anyone.

It has also emerged that a well known LVF boss threatened a couple in a mixed relationship the previous weekend.

The LVF gang went to the couple's home in Ballycraigy on two occasions over the weekend of 2 and 3 November and told them to get out. An Phoblacht has since been told that the man, who is a Catholic, has moved out.

Reacting to these incidents, Sinn Féin's Martin Meehan has called on unionists to "acknowledge and address the sectarianism that Catholics face daily in Antrim Town.

"I am sick sore and tired of highlighting the horrendous muted response from all other political representatives concerning attacks and intimidation against nationalists in South Antrim," he said.

"There is usually a mile long condemnation queue, if a stone is thrown by a nationalist in this borough or indeed if any attack can be remotely attributed to republicans, but when a Catholic teenager is severely beaten on his way home from a film by a unionist mob, the political silence is deafening."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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