The following list of sectarian and other hate-driven incidents and attacks is from 1 through 30 April 2002. The criteria we use for inclusion is based on the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) criteria; if a person/organisation feels that the motivation for an attack against them was sectarian (or racist or homophobic), then it should be counted as such. We rely on a number of sources for our information, but this is by no means comprehensive. If you find incidents that have been left off the list please contact us. A full dossier of sectarian and other hate attacks from January 1999 until March 2002 is available on our website at

April 1, Monday. Tension was high in north Belfast as Apprentice Boys, led by a "UVF" band, marched down the upper Crumlin Road. Nationalist protesters dispersed peacefully. (IN, CW)

In south Belfast the Apprentice Boys were barred by the Parades Commission from marching down the section of the Lower Ormeau Road that passes Sean Graham’s Bookmakers, the scene of the 1992 UFF/UDA massacre of five Catholics. (IN, CW)

At Yorkgate in north Belfast, knife-wielding loyalists attacked a Catholic woman and hijacked her car. The same gang later stabbed a teenager in the head. There was outrage in the nationalist community when it was learnt that in between attacks the RUC/PSNI had apprehended the gang, one of whom was wearing a Celtic top, and then released them. Eyewitnesses told the North Belfast News that one of the gang had told the RUC/PSNI "Don’t worry, we’re all Prods". (NBN)

April 2, Tuesday. Loyalists from Tiger’s Bay attacked Catholic homes in Park End Street, north Belfast. Rioting ensued on the Limestone Road and lasted an hour. Security forces forced loyalists back and allegedly assaulted two Catholic mothers and a Sinn Féin councillor. Local sources say the UDA was to blame for the attacks on the Catholic homes. (IN, CW)

In Ligoniel, north Belfast, loyalists threw a breezeblock through the windscreen of a car belonging to a Catholic taxi firm, before escaping in a car at high speed. (CW, NBN)

The RUC/PSNI recovered several crates of petrol bombs, bottles and tins of paint in the Tiger’s Bay area of north Belfast. (RUC/PSNI)

April 3, Wednesday . Sinn Féin councillors on Derry City Council were accused of divisiveness for not backing a council delegation to France to visit the site of the Battle of the Somme. Sinn Féin said the trip was a waste of ratepayer’s money. (IN, DJ, LS, NL)

On Glendore Avenue in north Belfast, nationalists attacked a 17-year-old Protestant mother from the Shore Road as she went to a local shop. Her attackers threw something at her head and then dragged her by the hair while kicking and punching her. One of them held her neck as if to strangle her while another punched her in the abdomen. They then jumped on her legs as if trying to break them. She suffered severe bruising to her face, head and body. North Belfast Community worker Eddie McLean said, "these idiots need to be caught". Sinn Féin condemned the attack. Later the UDA was accused of being behind a crowd of up to 100 from Tigers Bay who tried to get into the mainly Catholic section of North Queen Street and erect British flags outside Catholic homes. During the subsequent confrontation with the RUC/PSNI fifty blast bombs, petrol bombs and pipe bombs were thrown and up to 30 shots fired into RUC/PSNI lines, with the crowd swelling to around 400. North Belfast Assistant Chief Constable Alan McQuillan said: "Over recent nights we have seen concerted attacks on us by loyalists orchestrated by the UDA. The UDA fired the shots. I have no doubt that this violence is inspired and orchestrated by the Ulster Defence Association." McQuillan also said that the prospects of agreement between the loyalist and nationalist communities are grim because in the loyalist community "moderate community leaders are being threatened by the UDA who are telling them to stay out of it." He continued, "The UDA want to get at their Catholic neighbours and we are stopping them. " The comments followed a ‘war or peace’ ultimatum to the RUC/PSNI issued by the UDA’s north Belfast ‘brigadier’. Commenting on the riots, community worker Eddie McLean said "loyalists have taken enough beatings on the streets. They have had enough. You may now get loyalist dissidents and everybody in this area now. There is nothing I can do. The situation is out of control. The only way forward is through dialogue." (IN, BBC, CW, NL, RUC/PSNI, NBN)

April 5, Friday. Loyalists pipe bombed the home of an 82-year-old Catholic in north Belfast. (IN)

April 6, Saturday. The UDA were blamed for an attack on the home of a mixed religion couple and their four children in the Whitewell Road area of North Belfast. The attackers smashed the living room window and then hurled in two blast bombs. The family escaped before the devices exploded. Women and children from the mainly loyalist Gunnell Hill area staged a sit down protest in solidarity with the family. It was the fifth such attack on the family in recent times. (IN, CW, RUC/PSNI)

April 7, Sunday. Loyalist Pastor Clifford Peeples, said to be linked to the LVF and Orange Volunteers and who is serving 10 years for possessing hand grenades, pipe bombs and primers, attacked a republican inmate in Maghaberry Prison. Peeples was at the centre of another prison altercation with a republican prisoner in October 1999, five days after he was arrested. Peeples is also a former member of the group FAIT, Families Against Intimidation and Terror, whose director, Vincent McKenna, was jailed for raping his daughter. (See October 1999, August 2000, December 2000) (NBN, IN)

April 8, Monday. The Equality Commission launched a TV and radio campaign against discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin or disability. The broadcasts were in English, Chinese and Punjabi. (IN, UTV)

April 9,Tuesday. Loyalists threw bricks at the windscreen of a car carrying a Catholic man and his mother as they passed White City in north Belfast. The two occupants of the car accused the British Army of not intervening. The army claim that there had been a riot situation was strongly denied by the pair. Both suffered shock. (NBN, CW)

The family of Eddie Fullerton, the Sinn Féin councillor from Buncrana, Co Donegal, who was murdered by loyalists at his home in May 1991, called for the Irish government’s Carty Inquiry into allegations of Garda corruption to be extended to include the case. (DJ, PFC, Magill magazine) (See for Magill article)

April 10, Wednesday. Ballymena Councillors voted to accept a gift from the town’s Moslem community. Earlier, three DUP councillors were at the centre of a row when they expressed reservations about accepting the gift. (See March 2002) DUP Councillor James Alexander has since complained that he had been unfairly branded a tyrant because of his comments. In his original comments Mr Alexander had said: "I do not believe in the Islamic faith or their traditions and I am suspicious because of the attacks on New York and Washington over six months ago." Regarding the recent vote by the council, he said, "the council can accept it if it wants but I want nothing to do with it". (IN)

In Derry the Western Education and Library Board (WELB) voted in favour of closing down Templemore Secondary School, the last state run secondary school which caters for Protestants on the west bank of the city. One campaigner against closure said, "It is sending out a message to Protestants that they are not welcome on the west bank". All political parties on council opposed the move. (IN, DN, DJ)

John White of the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG), the ‘think tank’ with links to the UDA, announced plans to set up an ‘incidents centre’ on the Limestone Road to allow Tigers Bay residents to log sectarian incidents in the area. (NBN)

April 11, Thursday. The UPRG stated that the UDA would not decommission in response to recent IRA decommissioning. (DJ, LS, AN)

Masked loyalists assaulted a Catholic man on Derry’s Waterside using a baseball bat and a knife, stabbing him in the arm. The man escaped in his car and drove to hospital, where he received 12 stitches. (DJ, CW, DN)

Nationalists attacked houses in the Blacks Road Protestant enclave in West Belfast. (AN)

April 12, Friday. In Derry, Brian Dougherty, a Protestant community worker in the mainly Protestant Tullyally estate, was threatened by the UDA for inviting Irish President Mary McAleese to visit the estate. Warnings daubed on walls close to his home called him a "Traitor" and a "Lundy." (Lundy is a keyword for a traitor in Protestant folklore, being the name of the man who is supposed to have tried to surrender the city to King James during the siege of Derry in 1689.) Mr Dougherty was given the support of local DUP MLA Willie Hay. Earlier in the week Mr Dougherty had been criticised by the Ulster Community Action Network (UCAN) for inviting President McAleese. The UDA later denied having made threats against Mr Dougherty. (IT, DN, DJ, LS)

According to an article in the Irish News, the 20,000 reward offered for information likely to lead to a prosecution for the murder of 20-year-old Daniel McColgan, has failed to bring a single response. The Catholic postman was murdered by the UDA in Rathcoole, north Belfast, on January 12. "Such is the climate of fear in the loyalist estate where the Catholic postman was gunned down, that no-one has come forward despite the reward" said the Irish News. (See January attacks) (IN)

April 13, Saturday. The South Belfast News carried a report of a loyalist attack on nationalist murals in the Lower Ormeau area of south Belfast. (SBN)

The North Belfast News reported that a UDA delegation to meet Secretary of State John Reid was snubbed. The loyalist group intended to discuss a renewed ceasefire. It is understood that Reid ignored the delegation in protest at the continuing violence in the Tiger’s Bay area. (NBN)

At the Foyleside shopping centre on Derry’s west bank, a crowd of nationalist youths, some of whom were wearing Celtic shirts, surrounded, abused and assaulted a Protestant youth who was wearing a Rangers shirt. (DJ, LS)

Loyalists attempted to set fire to the Trocadero bar on Cromac Street, south Belfast, before running off into Donegall Pass. (SBN, CW)

April 14, Sunday. A Catholic man in his early 20s was beaten unconscious by a group of loyalists at the edge of the White City estate in north Belfast. Nationalists hit out at the RUC/PSNI, who had a vehicle at the scene, for failing to intervene to help the man. The RUC/PSNI said that they had no record of such an incident. Later a group of nationalists attacked a Protestant man in his 40s in an alleyway between the Whitewell Road and Mulderg Drive. The victim was stabbed in the back, neck and face and was taken to hospital. One person was arrested in connection with the attack. Later on, another Catholic man was attacked and stabbed by loyalists in the same area. (IN NBN, CW, RUC/PSNI)

April 16, Tuesday. East Derry DUP MP, Gregory Campbell hit out at RUC/PSNI recruitment procedures, which require it to appoint equal numbers of Protestant and Catholic recruits from a pool of candidates. Campbell argued that people from the Protestant community were being disadvantaged. (LS)

April 17, Wednesday. In north Belfast up to 100 Loyalists came out of Gunnell Hill and attacked homes in the Arthur Bridge and Whitewell area. Nationalist residents complained that British Army units stationed in the area did nothing to prevent the attacks. (NBN, CW)

April 18, Thursday. Jim Simpson, a leading loyalist and community worker with Prisoner’s Aid from north Belfast, was given a two month suspended jail sentence for his part in sectarian clashes at the Limestone Road — Hallidays Road interface. Resident Magistrate Des Perry told him: "You should have been involved as a peacemaker instead of a war monger." (IN)

Two north Belfast pensioners were said to be "terribly shaken" by loyalist pipe bomb attacks on their Alliance Avenue homes which set fire to sheds in their back yards. (IN, CW, RUC/PSNI)

Security forces defused a pipe bomb that had been left outside Catholic homes in the Whitewell Road area in north Belfast. (RUC/PSNI, CW)

April 19, Friday. Nationalists and loyalists clashed at the Ardoyne Road interface in north Belfast, while 12 Catholic families were reported to have left the Serpentine Road area amid rising tension surrounding the anticipated march by the Whitewell Defenders flute band, said locally to be a UDA-linked band. (IN, CW)

Nationalist youths threw three petrol bombs at houses in the Protestant Fountain estate in Derry. (LS, CW)

April 20, Saturday. Rioting continued in the Ardoyne. (CW, BBC, RUC/PSNI)

April 21, Sunday. The Sunday Tribune reported that the British Government had been preparing a defence of "Sovereign Immunity", the same controversial defence invoked by Pinochet to avoid extradition from Britain to Spain, in anticipation of civil litigation being brought by lawyers representing the families of those killed and injured in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in 1974. "The fact that the British considered employing it in the case of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings could therefore be interpreted as an admission of guilt" said the Tribune. There have been serious allegations of RUC and British Army involvement in the loyalist bombings, and of British State co-ordination and logistical support for the killers. 33 people died in the bombs in Dublin and Monaghan. See (ST)

Serious rioting continued at interfaces in the Ardoyne and Gunnel Hill/Serpentine interfaces in north Belfast. Concrete blocks, blast bombs, petrol bombs, fireworks and stones were thrown. According to the RUC/PSNI, a woman officer was injured when rioters attempted to drag her from her vehicle and a soldier was injured by a concrete block. Another officer was injured when he was struck by a stolen car and dragged for 250 yards along Clifton Street. Another RUC/PSNI officer fired a shot at the vehicle. The incident is being treated as attempted murder. (RUC/PSNI, CW)

In Derry, following a Celtic v Rangers match, nationalist and loyalist youths were engaged in stone throwing incidents and running battles at the Fountain/Bishop Street interface on the city side. Nationalist youths later clashed with plainclothes RUC officers, some of whom were allegedly wearing Celtic jerseys. The RUC/PSNI arrested one nationalist adult and one juvenile. (DJ, LS, RUC/PSNI)

The RUC/PSNI fired a number of plastic bullets during sectarian disturbances in Ardoyne, north Belfast, claiming no hits. Nationalists, who complain that their use was unwarranted given the low intensity of the rioting at the time, say that two children were injured by plastic bullets. One, a 12-year-old boy, was hit on the shoulder while on his way to a shop with his uncle. (IN)

April 22, Monday. In north Belfast loyalist and nationalists clashed on Ardoyne Road, hurling stones and ball bearings at each other. There were also clashes in Brompton Park. The RUC/PSNI made three arrests. (IN, BBC, RUC/PSNI)

In Derry, residents of the mainly Protestant Fountain estate and the Catholic Bishop Street area met in the first of a series of meetings intended to diffuse tension across the interface. (DJ)

April 24, Wednesday. At North Antrim Magistrate’s court, 30-year-old Raymond McMaster from Coleraine was charged with having explosives and planting an explosive device at the Auld Lammas fair in Ballycastle on August 28 2001. (NL, RUC/PSNI, IN)

The UDA told General John De Chastelain, the chairman of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, that they would not be decommissioning in the near future. Speculation is that opposition in the organisation to decommissioning came from hardliners in the south-east Antrim, south Derry and south Belfast brigades.

At the same time it was claimed that the UDA had made moves towards decommissioning in January 1999, including the issuing of immunity certificates and preparing a number of weapons to be handed to General de Chastelain. The ruling council, which was said to be split over the plan, withdrew its offer after the Dublin government advised that the IRA and UVF would see the move as a "worthless gesture". (IN, BBC)

According to a report in the Londonderry Sentinel, the North Antrim and Londonderry Independent Ulster Loyalists (NALIUL), the group thought to have links to the local UDA, called for action to be taken against Sinn Féin for what they described as escalating IRA activity over previous weeks. The group cited allegations that the IRA was implicated in the murder of Donaghmore taxi driver Barney McDonald. They also cited the hoax device left outside the home of Derry SDLP councillor Pat Ramsey, "questions over the Colombian affair", and allegations by the RUC/PSNI implicating republicans in the Castlereagh break-in. In a separate article the Sentinel reported that Derry Ulster Unionist Councillor Mary Hamilton had written to David Trimble asking him to give guarantees to loyalist paramilitary groups that there would be no united Ireland if they were to decommission. "I am not suggesting that loyalists should continue killing people if Mr Trimble does not offer a guarantee such as this, but I feel that it may help solve the decommissioning problem" said Mrs Hamilton. (LS, IN)

In Derry, nationalist youths petrol bombed houses in the mainly Protestant Fountain estate. (DJ, CW)

April 25, Thursday. The UVF and the UDA announced that they would take down flags bearing their paramilitary colours and replace them with Union flags (the Union Jack), in honour of the Queen’s jubilee celebrations. (NL)

Jim Rodgers, the Ulster Unionist lord mayor of Belfast, called on the UDA to decommission. The SDLP’s Jim Morgan echoed the call. (IN)

In Belfast Crown Court 36-year old Allister James Harkness from Portadown was sentenced to five years in prison for being in possession of a UVF arms cache and "information likely to be of use to terrorists". (IN)

In north Belfast, nationalists blamed the UDA for a nail bomb attack on the house of former Sinn Féin councillor Mick Conlon. Two nearby schools were evacuated while a security operation was mounted to defuse the device. The house is just yards from the Cavehill Road entrance to the Antrim Road RUC/PSNI barracks and can be seen by security cameras monitoring the area. (See April 26) (IN, NBN, RUC/PSNI)

DUP security spokesman Gregory Campbell complained that loyalist band members’ lives could be at risk if they supplied their personal details to the Parades’ Commission. "In July 2000, concerning a parade in the Co. Londonderry village of Maghera, the personal details of up to 30 band members were faxed to Sinn Féin/IRA… Following this, the police advised a number of band members to increase their personal security," he said. (IN)

April 26, Friday. The nail bomb attack on the home of Sinn Féin councillor Mick Conlon was claimed by the allegedly disbanded Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name used by the UDA and the LVF. In claiming the attack, the RHD warned that it would continue to attack members of Sinn Féin. (IN)

Known loyalists with paramilitary links were seen intelligence gathering outside the houses of nationalists in the Markets area of south Belfast. (SBN)

In Belfast, the RUC/PSNI intercepted a hijacked van carrying an incendiary bomb, believed to have been destined for the headquarters of the Ulster Unionist Party in Glengall Street. Dissident republicans are believed to have been behind the planned attack. (IN)

At the High Court in Belfast, Mr Justice Kerr granted leave to the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) to judicially review decisions made by the offices of the Police Ombudsman and the Chief Constable of the RUC/PSNI not to disclose documents to them. The CAJ has been investigating a complaint that the RUC failed to investigate death threats against Rosemary Nelson prior to her murder in 1999. (IN, PFC)

A pipe bomb exploded at a house in Ballynahinch. Two occupants of the house escaped uninjured. (RUC/PSNI)

April 27, Saturday. The South Belfast News reported several attacks on pupils from the Catholic St Joseph’s College on Ravenhill Road by loyalists in the Ballynafeigh district. (SBN, CW)

There have been several reports of incidences in recent weeks where Catholic schoolchildren on their way home from St Joseph’s College in south Belfast were assaulted by loyalists on the Ormeau and Ravenhill Roads. (SBN, CW)

April 28, Sunday. As violence again erupted on the Limestone Road in north Belfast, nationalists complained that the RUC/PSNI failed to apprehend the attackers of a 20-year-old Catholic who was hit in the face with a brick in full view of officers in riot gear. (IN, CW)

The London Independent carried an article claiming that senior officers in the Police Service of Northern Ireland (formerly the RUC) are bent on sabotaging the peace process. "Both the Government and senior police figures in Northern Ireland are convinced that top policemen are working against the peace process, according to authoritative sources in Belfast" said David McKittrick’s article. "We don’t believe the whole thing is being orchestrated, but there is an element of political motivation in this and other areas. " Said a "senior source". "there seem to be a few people who have an axe to grind — individuals who have particular political slants and don’t like the process." ( LI)


AN: Andersonstown News

BT: Belfast Telegraph

BBC: BBC radio and television news, BBC online, Radio Foyle

CW: Local community workers

DJ: Derry Journal

DN Derry News

IN: Irish News

IT: Irish Times

ITN: Independent Television News

LI: London Independent.

LS: Londonderry Sentinel

NBN: North Belfast News

NL: Newsletter

OB: Observer

PFC: Pat Finucane Centre

RM: RM Distribution

RUC/PSNI: Police Service of Northern Ireland (RUC) press office.

SBP: Sunday Business Post

SBN: South Belfast News

SI: Sunday Independent

ST: Sunday Tribune

UTV: Ulster Television