Monday, June 13, 2005

Catholics targeted in Derry

Brendan Anderson:

Catholics targeted in fire-bomb attacks were singled out because they were Sinn Fein supporters, a senior police officer has confirmed.

Loyalist paramilitaries in north Derry used electoral records to identify two families whose members had nominated and seconded Sinn Fein candidates in the recent local government elections.

In one attack, a family escaped injury when a Molotov cocktail-type bomb failed to ignite after being thrown at their home in Coleraine. At the same time in a nearby street, a similar device was used to destroy an automobile parked outside another family’s home.

Sinn Fein councilor Billy Leonard said Loyalists had been circulating a leaflet bearing information on people who had signed electoral documents for his party’s candidates in the area.

“There have appeared around that area posters with reference to people who proposed and seconded Sinn Fein election candidates in the recent Westminster and local government elections,” he said.

Leonard said Unionist politicians “who claimed to be democrats” must call for a halt to attacks on Nationalists in the Coleraine area.

“Theses are outrageous attacks. There is a clear attempt to try to target and intimidate Nationalists because of the surge in Nationalist confidence and support for Sinn Fein,” he said.

“Unionist political and community leaders have a responsibility to challenge attitudes that try to make attacks on Nationalists in any way acceptable, because they are not.”

Acting Chief Inspector Eric Chambers, the police officer in charge of the investigation, confirmed a link between the names on the list and the families targeted. He said both families had lived in the area for up to 30 years.

“Some of the family members targeted were in their sixties. We are treating these incidents as sectarian and condemn these attacks on totally innocent people,” he said.

“It is very fortunate that no one was seriously injured and that there was no extensive damage to property. We are quite worried about this development as it has come out of the blue. We are stepping up patrols to make sure it does not happen again.”

Just one more reason why it would be foolish for the IRA to disband while British loyalists are engaged in violence against the indigenous Irish population of the Six Counties.


Post a Comment

<< Home