The following list of sectarian and other hate-driven incidents and attacks is from 1 through 31 July 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 June 2002 is available on our website at users.datarealm.com/pfc.

July 1, Monday. At a Newtownabbey council meeting, Cllr. Mark Langhammer (Ind. Labour) blamed the neo-nazi group Combat 18 for the recent attacks on graves in the Carnmoney Cemetery in Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim. Unionist councillors suggested the recent attacks on Catholic graves in the cemetery were due, in part, to a "sectarian policy" within the graveyard (both Catholics and Protestants are interred in the cemetery but in separate sections.) Cllr. Ivan Hunter (UUP) also suggested that "Mass gatherings" (such as Cemetery Sunday) should no longer be permitted in Carnmoney Cemetery. (For the past two years, Loyalists have picketed Annual Cemetery Sunday gatherings.) (NBN, IN)

The Irish News reported that the Police Ombudsman, Nuala O’Loan, "is probing ‘possible police misconduct’ by members of the RUC before and after the murder of a Catholic colleague." Sergeant Joseph Campbell was murdered in February of 1977 as he locked up the RUC station in Cushendall, Co. Antrim. It is believed the man was a victim of collusion between the RUC and the loyalist UVF. A Special branch officer was charged in connection with the murder, but was acquitted. (IN)

Papers were lodged in Belfast’s High Court naming — amongst others —Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan in a court action stemming from an incident last month in east Belfast when a Short Strand woman was prevented from taking her child to the doctors because of a loyalist picket. The RUC/PSNI are alleged to have done nothing to help the woman and her son get through to the doctors. According to the Irish News, she "is seeking a court order directing the Ombudsman to investigate her complaint against the [RUC/] PSNI." (IN)

July 3, Wednesday. The Derry News reported that nationalist councillors in Derry called for "immediate action to protect [Catholic] residents in the Long Tower Court area." The area borders the loyalist Fountain estate on Derry’s West Bank. "I have visited the area on a number of occasions and was shocked to see the scale of attacks which people have to endure on a regular basis," Sinn Féin’s Gerry MacLochlainn. Meanwhile, Derry City councillor, Helen Quigley (SDLP), has urged the Housing Executive to erect a security fence between Harding Street and the Protestant Fountain housing estate. (IN, DN, CW)

While searching a house in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, the RUC/PSNI found two sawn-off shotguns, a single barrelled shotgun, three handguns, bomb making materials and ammunition. They also found balaclava masks, a UVF oath of allegiance and a Bible from a Free Presbyterian Church in Belfast. A 25-year-old man was charged in connection with the find. (IN, BBC)

Catholics living in the predominantly Protestant Leckagh estate in Magherafelt, Co. Derry had their homes attacked by loyalists. Two homes were targeted with petrol bombs and a car belonging to a Catholic family was also attacked. Two elderly women were treated in hospital for shock. A number of Catholic families have already left the estate. "The remaining families," said Sinn Féin MLA John Kelly, "have been told to get out of the estate by July 11 or they will be burnt out." The RUC/PSNI chief superintendent the area spoke out about the growing number of sectarian attacks. "I have taken steps to combat the incidents that are being inflicted upon Roman Catholic families and which can only described as raw, naked sectarianism," said the chief superintendent. "Many of the families affected have lived in the [Leckagh] estate for several years and, sadly, they have now become the target for intimidation by loyalist thugs who skulk about in the shadows." (IN, CW, RUC/PSNI)

A number of women from the Short Strand in east Belfast flew to London to meet with a number of Westminster MP’s and the local media. The women presented a full dossier of attacks on the Short Strand to all interested parties. "The response from all of those we came into contact with was very positive," said local resident Mairead O’Donnell. (AN, SBN)

According to a report in the Irish News, a number of prominent unionist politicians were warned by the RUC/PSNI that their lives may be under increased threat from "dissident" republicans. Secretary of State John Reid later admitted (30 July) that the warnings were based on a flawed threat assessment, and that there was in fact no evidence of any increased threat. (IN, Herald)

Ryan David Weekes, a loyalist from Larne, Co. Antrim, was jailed for 12 years in connection with a pipe bomb attack on the home of a local SDLP councillor. He also pleaded guilty to a second pipe bomb attack. (IN)

First Minister and member of the Orange Order David Trimble criticised the Parade’s Commission’s decision to ban the Portadown Orangemen from marching down the mainly-nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown. (IN)

In south Belfast loyalists hired a ‘cherry picker’ to erect paramilitary flags on lampposts in mixed religion-streets. (CW)

July 4, Thursday. Sinn Féin councillor Lynn Fleming condemned the sectarian petrol bombing of a home in the Protestant Irish Street area. Cllr. Fleming said, "Everyone, regardless of their beliefs, has a right to live without fear of attack from any quarter and it is only good fortune that we are now not dealing with either a serious injury or death." (IN, CW)

A Catholic family living in South Belfast escaped injury following a petrol bomb attack on their home. A 61-year-old woman and her 22-year-old son were watching television when a concrete block was thrown through a downstairs window. An attempt was then made to throw the petrol bomb through the window but it landed in the garden instead. (IN, CW)

Following a loyalist pipe bomb attack on a home in the nationalist Short Strand area of east Belfast, loyalist leaders re-iterated the loyalist paramilitary ‘no first strike’ policy. John White, formerly of the UDA-aligned UDP, said claimed the UDA was not responsible for the attack. (IN, CW, SBN)

The first anniversary of the murder of 19-year-old Ciaran Cummings, from Antrim. Cummings, a Catholic, was shot dead as he waited for a lift to work. Both the loyalist Orange Volunteers and Red Hand Defenders claimed the killing, but — according to the Andersonstown News and the Irish News — suspicion has since fallen on the UVF. (AN, IN, RUC/PSNI)

According to senior security sources, up to 70 members of the paramilitary Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) had recently defected to Johnny Adair’s UDA/UFF "C" Company. While neither confirming nor denying this, former UDP member Johnny White said, "If members of the LVF have chosen to move over to the UDA, I think it is a positive move and will consolidate the peace process. The UDA, and Johnny Adair, have stated that they are committed to the peace process and that still stands." (IN, RUC/PSNI, BBC)

The Derry News reported that a number of Derry students living in Belfast are moving away from "high-risk" areas following last month’s sectarian attack on a student house in south Belfast. (See 24/6) (DN, CW)

July 5, Friday. Loyalists pipe-bombed the home of a Catholic family of five living in the Short Strand area of east Belfast. "We were attacked three weeks ago, " said one family member, " but I never thought we’d be hit by a pipe bomb." (IN, CW)

Robert Samuel Walmsley of the Drumtara estate in Ballymena appeared in Coleraine Magistrates Court in connection with a loyalist arms find earlier in the week. He was accused of possessing both guns and explosives and of having items "for use in a terrorist offence." Walmsley pleaded not guilty to all charges and was remanded in custody until later in the month. (IN, RUC/PSNI)

The Parades Commission upheld its ruling banning Portadown Orangemen from marching down the Garvaghy Road after its annual Drumcree Church parade. (IN, CW)

Jamal Iweida, president of the Belfast Islamic Centre, and his family left their home in Finaghy after their house and car were attacked and damaged, the culmination of a sustained campaign of racial violence and intimidation including threats and a break-in. These incidents followed a sustained campaign of racial violence and intimidation. Police figures show that the number of racist incidents in Northern Ireland has doubled in the past four years. Community activists point out, however, that these statistics are only the tip of the iceberg, as many victims of racist attacks do not report them to the police. (IN, SBN, CW)

July 6, Saturday. Lagan Valley MLA Patricia Lewsley (SDLP) met with RUC/PSNI chiefs to discuss a number of issues, including the increase in the flying of loyalist flags. A number of "mixed" areas in Lisburn, Co. Antrim are now flying such flags. (AN)

An 18-year-old Catholic man from Kilkeel in Co. Down was badly beaten in a late night sectarian attack. The young man was beaten unconscious by a loyalist mob as he left a bar in the town. Six men who shouted, "Kill the Fenian", set upon him as soon as they had him on the ground. The victim suffered extensive bruising and needed 13 stitches on his face. (IN, BBC)

Catholics living in the Newington area of north Belfast expressed their concerns over a RUC/PSNI application to remove security barriers at the bottom of Newington Street. The barriers were originally erected over 20 years ago in response to a series of loyalist murders and murder attempts in the area. Sectarian tensions are high in the area and, according to local Sinn Féin councillor Gerard Brophy, "people in Newington Street … have been pipe bombed, petrol bombed and bricked on a nearly nightly basis by loyalists in Tigers Bay." The Continuity IRA threatened to kill anyone who tried to remove the barrier. (NBN, CW, IN)

The Andersonstown News reported that Sinn Féin would challenge Lisburn Council’s decision to fly the Union flag 19 days of the year. They also said they would challenge the council’s displaying of the Queen’s portrait in council chambers. "This decision," said Sinn Féin councillor Paul Butler," sends out a clear message to Catholics living in Lisburn that the Lagan Valley Island site is unionist territory and that they are not welcome." (AN)

In north Belfast’s Newington Avenue, loyalists pipe bombed the home of a 23-year-old Catholic woman. "The area was completely quiet at the time of the attack," said Sinn Féin’s Gerard Brophy. "It makes a mockery of [the UDA’s] claim not to carry out first-strike attacks on nationalists." The pipe bomb was thrown from the loyalist Tiger’s Bay estate. (NBN, CW)

A car struck and fatally wounded William Morgan, a young Protestant man from north Belfast, in a hit-and-run incident early in the morning. The RUC/PSNI said they were treating the incident as attempted murder. The car was later found burnt out in the nationalist New Lodge area of the city. Commenting on the attack, former UDP leader John White said that "the UDA are coming under extreme pressure from people … to respond. I’m not sure what type of response that might precipitate but it doesn’t take much imagination to guess what that might be." William Morgan died on 11 July from his injuries. (IN, NBN)

Hours after prominent loyalist leader John White predicted there would a UDA response to the hit-and-run car attack on William Morgan (a Protestant); a 48-year-old Catholic man was struck by a car that had mounted a footpath to hit him. The man sustained a broken pelvis and hip as well as multiple leg fractures. According to the North Belfast News, it was one of three such incidents over the weekend. In one of the incidents a Catholic man was struck by a British Army landrover. This was the only one of the incidents that the RUC/PSNI did not announce they were treating as attempted murder. (IN, NBN)

The Irish News reported that there have been a series of sectarian attacks along the Gobnascale and Irish Street interface on Derry’s Waterside. One such attack included a petrol bomb attack on the home of an 80-year old Protestant woman living on Bann Drive near Irish Street. The attacks were condemned by representatives from across the political spectrum. (IN, CW)

July 7, Sunday. There were clashes at this year’s annual Drumcree Church parade between Orangemen and their supporters and the RUC/PSNI. The march had been banned from continuing down Garvaghy Road, which passes through the heart of Portadown’s small Catholic community. Up to 31 RUC/PSNI officers and a number of demonstrators were injured in the violence. Plastic bullets were fired. The Orange Order has vowed to punish any member involved in the disturbances. (IN, RUC/PSNI)

Orange Halls in south Co. Down — in Dundrum, Newcastle and Ballywillwill — were attacked. Windows were broken and some Orange memorabilia was stolen in all three halls. A spokesman for the Orange Order said he hoped the RUC/PSNI "would track down those responsible for this blatantly sectarian attack." (IN, RUC/PSNI)

Loyalists petrol bombed homes belonging to pensioners in east Belfast’s Short Strand over the weekend. The homes, which have been specially adapted for pensioners, are along Strand Walk on the edge of the Short Strand. Sinn Féin councillor Joe O’Donnell claimed that the attackers knew that elderly residents occupied the homes. "What they are doing is targeting the weak and the most vulnerable in society," he said. (SBN, CW, BBC)

On the Springfield Road in west Belfast, loyalists attacked the home of a young Catholic couple. (AN, CW)

July 8, Monday. Nearly two dozen community groups in Derry’s Bogside and Brandywell areas issued an appeal to local young people regarding sectarian attacks on the Cityside’s Protestant Fountain estate. The statement, signed by groups such as the Pat Finucane Centre, the Bogside and Brandywell Initiative and Tar Abhaile, appealed "to citizens, community workers and parents to do everything they can to ensure that people in our own community neither provoke tension nor respond to provocation around the time of [the upcoming Twelfth] celebrations." Young people in particular were asked to stay away from the edge of the Fountain. (IN, DJ)

Catholic residents of the Rathenraw Estate in Antrim were attacked by approximately 100 loyalists, according to local sources. (AN, CW)

The Irish News reported that a "flags row" in Ballymena’s nationalist Fisherwick estate had been resolved. All Irish tricolours save one have been taken down. Last year the flying of tricolours in the area prompted loyalist pickets. The PUP’s Billy McCaughey, a former RUC officer who had been convicted in 1980 for the 1977 murder of Catholic William Strathearn and the kidnapping of a Catholic priest, agreed that nationalists in the area had a right to express their culture, but maintained that there was no place for a "foreign flag" in Ballymena. (IN, CW)

Loyalist gunmen opened fire on the home of a Catholic family in Coleraine, Co. Derry; a petrol bomb was also thrown at the home. The family, who were the target of a sectarian pipe bomb attack last year, escaped unharmed but were badly shaken by the attack. (IN)

July 9, Tuesday. The family of Roseanne Mallon, a 76-year-old woman murdered by the UVF in May of 1994, met with N.I. security minister Jane Kennedy. Soon after she was killed, it emerged that six undercover British soldiers were hidden outside her Killymoyle (Co. Tyrone) home at the time of the attack. It also emerged that the home had been under video surveillance. The family is seeking the answers to a number of questions related to the murder and the State’s apparent complicity in it. (IN)

July 10, Wednesday. A 12-year old boy from east Belfast’s Short Strand area was hit by a firework thrown over the ‘peace line’ from the loyalist Cluan Place. "We were told there is no-one living in Cluan Place and that the army are there all the time so how can this be happening," said his mother. The boy was treated in hospital for shock. (IN, CW, SBN)

A week after Larne loyalist Ryan David Weekes was sentenced to 12 years for pipe bombing the home of local SDLP councillor Martin Wilson, a UFF flag was erected outside the councillor’s home. "It is a direct threat and designed to intimidate me," said Cllr. Wilson. "They are trying to drive out of my house but I won’t be moving." (IN, BBC)

July 11, Thursday. William Morgan, a 27-year-old Protestant who had been hit by a car in a sectarian hit and run incident in north Belfast on July 6, died from head injuries. His family has called for no retaliation. He left a pregnant wife and three-year-old son (see July 6) (IN)

The Irish News reported that a Catholic family was leaving their home in the Stiles estate in Antrim town. Six other families have also applied to the Housing Executive for emergency housing. The on-going sectarian violence in the mainly Protestant estate has forced 38 Catholic families from their homes since the end of May. Community sources said that a petrol bomb attack on a Protestant home may have been the work of nationalist youths (IN, CW)

A 16-year-old Catholic man from north Belfast was stabbed in the neck by a gang of loyalists. He was listed as "critically ill" in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital where he was being treated for stab wounds to the neck and lower back. The RUC/PSNI have "not ruled out" a sectarian motive for the attack. (IN, RUC/PSNI, CW, AN)

Two Catholic churches in Co. Antrim were attacked overnight. The Aughnahoy Church in Portglenone was damaged in a sectarian arson attack. And in a separate incident Our Lady’s Church in Harryville, Ballymena was paint bombed. The Catholic church in Harryville was the subject of a loyalist picket from late 1996 through early 1998 — it then briefly resumed in 1999. (IN, CW)

A British army bomb disposal unit was called in to deal with a suspect device found outside a furniture shop in Ahoghill, Co. Antrim. The shop belongs to a Catholic family and it had burnt down the previous year after a sectarian attack. Part of the village was sealed off during the bomb scare, forcing a young cyclist to make a detour. The cyclist — 15-year old Aaron Jason Green — was then hit by a car and died as he made his way around the outskirts of the village. (IN)

In west Belfast, loyalists had tried to kidnap a 28-year-old Catholic man. Michael Rafferty, was beaten as he was on his way home late at night. His attackers tried to drag him into their car. Mr. Rafferty said he heard one of his attackers say, "Let’s just shoot him here." The attackers then fled when they saw the RUC/PSNI and a number of nationalists approaching. (IN, AN)

Masked UDA/UFF gunmen put on a show of strength at two Eleventh Night bonfire celebrations in south and west Belfast. A statement was read out on the Shankill Road: "We cannot stand back as Protestant families living in interface areas are being murdered. If these attacks continue, then we will have no other course of action, but to initiate a measured response." (IN)

July 12, Friday. Sinn Féin councillor Martin Meehan accused loyalists in Antrim town of attacking a number of Catholics in the early hours of the morning. Cllr. Meehan referred to the loyalists as "drunken louts" who were returning from an 11th night bonfire in nearby Randalstown. (IN)

Police and nationalist protesters clashed on west Belfast’s Springfield Road after an Orange march was allowed through the Catholic area. The Parades Commission had allowed the contentious parade to pass through the area and local residents planned a protest. "Before the trouble started," said west Belfast Cllr. Margaret Walsh (SDLP) "we had asked police to adopt a low-key, less aggressive approach. But, as soon as the stones were thrown, they just charged." A parade through Ardoyne passed off relatively peacefully despite assertions by Assistant Chief Constable Alan McQuillan that republicans were planning a major confrontation. To support this assertion the RUC/PSNI put on display a number of ‘spiked objects’ that they claimed had been manufactured for use in the planned riot. It later became clear that the ‘spiked objects’ were simply security devices from the roofs of local businesses. McQuillan provoked similar controversy in Derry in 1999 when he claimed that republicans planned a major riot in response to an Apprentice Boys parade. In that instance also local sources rejected his claims, and no serious rioting occurred. Following the parade in Ardoyne, the Parades’ Commission condemned the actions of some of those who had taken part.(IN, NBN)

In a bid to ease tensions, Derry Sinn Féin councillor Gerry MacLochlainn called on both communities on the Abercorn Road interface to take down flags — be they tricolours or Union Jacks. A spokesperson for the mainly Catholic Riverside Residents Association said, "We have been on the ground over the last few days to try and ensure that there is no trouble around the Fountain and other areas." (DJ, IN)

British Army bomb disposal experts made safe a bomb that had been abandoned near the route of an Orange parade in Belfast. The city’s former lord mayor said the bomb was meant to kill Orangemen, bandsmen and spectators. "Dissident" republicans have been blamed for the thwarted attack. (IN, BBC)

July 13, Saturday. The Andersonstown News reported that a new University of Ulster study highlighted the "increasing hardening of attitudes by both Protestants and Catholics towards living, working and learning together." Dr. Joanne Hughes and Dr. Caitlin Donnelly of the University’s School of Policy Studies carried out the study. (AN)

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) promised that the security barrier on the lower end of north Belfast’s Newington Street would remain in place. Residents of the small Catholic enclave had been concerned about a RUC/PSNI application to remove security barriers. At the same time Protestants in the neighbouring Tiger’s Bay estate held a protest demanding stronger security measures. The protests were, in part, a response to the hit-and-run incident the week before (see July 6). Speaking at the protest, UUP MLA Fred Cobain said, "This [hit-and-run incident] is just the latest incident of this kind to hit Tiger’s Bay and the community is demanding that it be offered better security protection." (NBN, IN, CW)

New graffiti in the loyalist Sandy Row in Belfast read "Falls Road Fenians" followed by two telephone numbers. The Andersonstown News warned nationalists to be vigilant and has since contacted those whose numbers were painted beside a UDA mural. The RUC/PSNI said they were not aware of the graffiti and had not warned the families. The families have since changed their numbers. (AN)

An Orange Hall in Newry, Co. Down was vandalised, and flags, banners and other Orange memorabilia damaged. The RUC/PSNI said the attack bore "all the hallmarks of a sectarian incident." (IN, RUC/PSNI)

The DUP’s Ian Crozier put a proposal before the Belfast City Council calling for the restoration of the home of RIC District Inspector John Nixon. Crozier claims Nixon "did a good service for people in North Belfast…" Nationalists, however, regard the man as a hated figure responsible for directing and taking part in a large number of sectarian murders in the years following partition. North Belfast historian Joe Baker compared honouring Nixon with paying tribute to Lenny Murphy — the leader of the Shankill Butchers. (NBN, IN)

Construction workers building homes in the Cliftonville area of north Belfast walked off their building site after coming under sectarian attack. Loyalists from Manor Street had pelted the workers with missiles, including stones and pellets from a pellet gun. (NBN, CW)

July 15, Monday. The Irish News reported a story from a Sunday newspaper that Milltown Cemetery killer, Michael Stone, would run as an independent anti-Agreement candidate in the next assembly election. Stone was released from Long Kesh under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Until recently, he had claimed to support the peace process. (IN)

July 16, Tuesday. Three petrol bombs were thrown over a security fence at Catholic homes on north Belfast’s Alliance Avenue. The attack resulted in minor scorch damage to two homes. Residents in the area have been arguing for the security fence to be raised. "Nationalist homes on Alliance Avenue have been subjected to a constant barrage of attacks including bombing and near constant stoning," said Sinn Féin’s Margaret McClenaghan. The attacks came amid reports that the RUC/PSNI had discouraged the NIO from raising the security fence. (NBN, CW)

The Derry Journal reported that prominent members of Sinn Féin and their office staff working in Stormont had received death threats from loyalists. The actual source of the threats was "undefined." (DJ)

A spokesperson for the Unionist Association in Derry’s Waterside area claimed that "those who oppose the expression of a culture which even when not shared deserves parity of esteem is to [sic] stir irrational acts of sectarianism and violent communal attacks such as those seen on the residents of the Fountain Street and Irish Street areas." The spokesperson was commenting on nationalist opposition to Orange parades. (DJ)

July 17, Wednesday. Loyalists attacked the home of a Catholic family on Alliance Avenue in north Belfast. A woman who lives in the house said they had been under daily attack from loyalists in the Glenbryn estate since April. (IN, CW)

July 18, Thursday. Crispin Blunt, a member of the Conservative Party’s Northern Ireland shadow team, met with representatives of the loyalist Ulster Political Research Group. Mr. Blunt toured some of Belfast’s interface areas along with some of the group’s members. The Ulster Political Research Group is the political formation linked to the UDA/UFF, the paramilitary organisation that is blamed for much of the interface violence. (IN, CW)

Loyalists sent a parcel bomb to a Sinn Féin councillor in Dunloy, Co Antrim. Cllr. Phillip McGuigan, who sits on Ballymoney Council, was sent the device that had been disguised as a video cassette. His three-year-old son first picked it up. British Army technical experts later carried out a controlled explosion on the device. (IN, CW, BBC)

An 18-year-old nationalist from Derry, was sentenced to two months in prison for a sectarian attack on a Protestant on Glendermott Road. Doherty and an accomplice jeered at the victim from a bus, singing "The Soldier's Song" and calling him "Jaffa bastard" before leaving the bus and assaulting him. (DJ, DN)

In north Belfast, loyalists stabbed and seriously injured a Catholic man as he and a friend were assaulted on their way home from a local pub at around 2am. The attack occurred on Rosapenna Street in the Oldpark area of north Belfast. The attackers told the pair "You’re dead you Fenian bastards." The victim later required emergency surgery at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital. (IN, CW)

A Catholic couple sustained minor head and facial injuries when a number of homes in the nationalist Alliance Avenue area of north Belfast came under attack. The windows of a number of homes were smashed and damage was also done to a car when loyalists from the neighbouring Glenbryn estate threw missiles over the area’s "peace line." "They [i.e. loyalists] have been using the roofs of empty houses in Glenbryn to attack Catholic homes," said Sinn Féin’s Margaret McClenaghan. "We have called for the houses to be blocked up and secured." (IN)

A 37-year-old Catholic man from north Belfast was savagely beaten by a group of loyalists. Four men attacked the man, who was on his way home from a pub near an interface on the Oldpark Road. He was struck about the head with a baseball bat, kicked and punched. The man made it to Belfast’s Mater hospital after the attack where he received 35 staples to his head and was treated for severe bruising. "They knew rightly I was a Catholic," said the victim. "I thought they were going to kill me." (IN)

According to the Irish News, "loyalists [in Belfast] went on a violent rampage, targeting Catholic homes … in what police described as ‘unprovoked sectarian attacks.’" The violence erupted in the Ligoniel, Deerpark, Alliance Avenue and Glenbryn areas of north Belfast. Trouble initially started when loyalist youths attacked Catholic homes. The UDA/UFF have since been blamed for orchestrating the attacks. A Catholic mother and her three children were trapped in their burning car. Loyalists had attacked the car with a petrol bomb and had managed to break the windscreen. The attack occurred on the Upper Crumlin Road in north Belfast. Luckily, the young family escaped unharmed. The home of a Catholic family living on the mixed Deerpark Road in north Belfast was attacked for the 17th time. (This time windows were broken.) The family has been trying to sell the home but have been unable to because of its location. "Now we are forced to live in a house which is constantly being attacked and no one wants to know," said the homeowner. "It is a living hell." (IN, CW, NBN))

A loyalist mob attacked a home occupied by two Catholic brothers in the Ligoniel area of north Belfast. A brick was thrown through a window and one brother noticed "a crowd of men running down the path and someone trying to kick in the front door." As the brother’s escaped out the back, the mob set the flat on fire with petrol bombs. "This was an unprovoked sectarian attack," said RUC/PSNI inspector Victor Stitt. (IN, RUC/PSNI)

July 19, Friday. The parochial house of St. Mary’s Church in Newcastle, Co. Down was petrol bombed. Two priests were in the house at the time of the attack. Ulster Unionist MLA Dermot Nesbitt condemned the attack as "an attack upon all the people of Newcastle and south Down." St. Mary’s Church itself has been subject to sectarian attacks three times this year. (IN, RUC/PSNI, BBC)

Loyalist attacks continued on Catholic homes in the Ligoniel area. One house was destroyed in a petrol bomb attack and windows were broken in nine more. The mob gained access to the area by storming over the interface peace line. Two paramedics who responded to the incursions were injured when they came under attack by stone-throwing youths. Two Protestant-owned homes had their windows broken on the Upper Crumlin Road. (IN, NBN, CW)

July 20, Saturday. Loyalists attacked and stabbed a 49-year-old Catholic man from north Belfast on the Whitewell Road at 7:15 a.m. Loyalists from the Mount Vernon area also attacked Catholic homes in Skegoniel, north Belfast. The attackers destroyed cars and forced four families to flee their homes. In Westland Gardens, loyalists threw bottles at the home and car of a Catholic mother of two. A Catholic family escaped injury in a loyalist petrol bomb attack on their home. The home was first attacked at 2am when the family's car was torched. Three hours later, they awoke when their front room was set on fire. Loyalists attacked Catholic homes in Rosapenna Park with billiard balls and other missiles. (NBN, CW, IN)

A petrol bomb was thrown at the home of Samuel Swindell, an elderly Protestant living on Cliftonpark Avenue, north Belfast. Mr Swindell was alerted by his son, who was in the house, and escaped without injury. Police refused to classify the attack as sectarian, but residents believe the attackers came from a nationalist area nearby. (IN)

Petrol bombs, paint bombs, bottles and bricks were thrown at a series of homes on the mainly-Catholic Alliance Avenue from the loyalist Glenbryn Estate. One resident, Gerard Russell, reported that Security Minister Jane Kennedy told him that heightening the security fence between the two neighbourhoods was unnecessary because, she told him, there was no threat from loyalists." (IN, CW, NBN)

Joe O’Donnell, a Sinn Féin councillor from Belfast’s Short Strand, accused the British army’s Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) of contributing to the on-going sectarian attacks on the small Catholic enclave. Members of the RIR (formerly known as the UDR, a regiment infamous for its sectarian ethos) have been placed at the Cluan Place/Clandeboye interface in the Short Strand. They are alleged to have taken part in throwing stones into the Short Strand and making threatening/sectarian comments towards Catholics/nationalists. "This claim is blatantly untrue," said an army spokesperson. "It is scurrilous to suggest that the Royal Irish Regiment is a sectarian force." (SBN, CW)

The North Belfast News reported a bid to rename a local Newtownabbey park after sectarian murder victim Danny McColgan. McColgan, a young Catholic postman, was gunned down by the UDA/UFF in January of this year. Newtownabbey mayor Paul Girvan (DUP) argued that to rename the park in McColgan’s memory would set an "unwise precedent." (see January attacks)(NBN, PFC)

July 21, Sunday. Loyalists tried to abduct a Catholic man at the Broadway roundabout in north Belfast. At 7.30pm 19-year-old Glenbryn Protestant Mark Blaney was shot and wounded in the groin by a gunman firing from Alliance Avenue. His attackers are thought to have been members of the INLA. Later that night, loyalists on a motorcycle attempted to kill a Catholic man on the Oldpark Road. At about 10pm, two men standing outside a house in Salisbury Avenue were fired on by two UDA men in a white Nissan car. They were not hit. At 10:45 p.m. UDA members held a gun to the head of a Catholic teenager outside Henry Joys bar on the Oldpark Road. The gun jammed. At 11.20pm a 29-year-old Catholic man was shot in Rosapenna Court where he was walking with a friend. A gunman fired at least twelve shots from a car that drew alongside the pair. The man was shot in both legs and the groin. Throughout the evening, loyalists from Glenbryn attacked Catholic houses in Alliance Avenue with paint and petrol bombs. (AN, NBN, IN)

To coincide with the 30th anniversary of the nine people killed on "Bloody Friday", the IRA issued a statement apologising for the killing and maiming of all "non-combatants."

The DUP mayor of Ballymena, Hubert Nicholl, had his invitation to a Queen's Jubilee event organised by a local residents association withdrawn after he praised the PSNI for finding a loyalist arms cache. A wide variety of weapons, a UVF oath of allegiance and a Free Presbyterian Church bible were among the items discovered by police. (IN)

At around midnight, up to 100 loyalist youths, described by the Ballymena Guardian as wearing swastika emblems and Ku Klux Klan type paraphernalia, erected a burning barricade across the mixed North Road and Clonavon Road. The area is a mixed religion area into which a number of Portuguese families had recently moved. Local sources say that these families have been subjected to intimidation such as having their windows broken. A loyalist mural was recently painted in the area against locals wishes. Locals also said that the same group of loyalists had started to paint a Ku Klux Klan mural, complete with swastikas, on another wall.

The June/July edition of Warrior, the UDA/UFF’s publication, boasted that an earlier report of a cross burning in Bushmills, Co. Antrim, which had been downplayed by a DUP politician in the local press, had in fact taken place and was the work of "local members of the Klu Klux Klan" [sic]. It also published a photograph of a hooded figure standing in front of a burning cross, which it claimed was evidence that it was the Klan. Ties between Ulster Loyalism and white supremacism are well documented. (PFC, CW, BG, Ba Ti)

A Catholic family confronted a man who had just left an explosive device in the front yard of their home of Beechland Road, Magherafelt home. The device, an adapted firework packed with nails, was made safe by army technical experts. (IN)

July 22, Monday. Shortly after midnight Gerard Lawlor, a 19-year-old Catholic, was shot five times in the vicinity of his Whitewell Road home as he walked alone from the Bellevue Arms public house on the Antrim Road. He died from his wounds just yards from his home. The murder, claimed by the "Red Hand Defenders" as a "measured response" to the attack on Mark Blaney earlier in the evening was later claimed by the UFF/UDA. It was the fifth such loyalist attack that evening. Gerard Lawlor, a forklift driver, had been about to move into a new home with his partner and baby. He was friends with two of the UDA’s more recent north Belfast victims, Glen Branagh and Daniel McColgan. The Glengormley teenager was the fifth member of the St. Enda's GAA club to be murdered in the troubles, the second by the UFF/UDA. (IN, AN, NBN)

Police claimed they received a telephone call warning of a bomb in the Falls Road IRSP offices. The building was evacuated but nothing was found. (AN)

In East Belfast, a pipe bomb was thrown into the nationalist Clandeboye area from the loyalist Cluan Place. Several children in the vicinity escaped injury when the bomb failed to detonate. (IN, CW)

July 23, Tuesday. A six-year-old Catholic girl from the nationalist Clandeboye area, Short Strand, east Belfast, sustained head injuries when hit by a brick thrown from the loyalist Cluan Place. The girl, who was playing in a garden, was struck as bricks and stones were hurled over the peace-line wall. (IN, CW, SBN)

At the North Queen Street flashpoint in north Belfast, a Catholic couple were chased by a loyalist mob as they left a doctor's surgery at the interface. Two loyalist teens entered the medical office and aimed pellet guns at the couple. When the pair left the facility, they were confronted by a group of loyalists carrying baseball bats and iron bars. Protestant community worker Eddie McClean reported that the disturbance was the result of an argument between people from both sides of the interface. (IN, NBN, IN)

5,000 people attended a vigil in Floral Street, north Belfast, for sectarian murder victim Gerard Lawlor. (IN)

The chairman of the Loyalist Commission responded to the UDA/UFF murder of north Belfast Catholic Gerard Lawlor. The Rev. Mervyn Gibson - a Presbyterian minister - is quoted in the Irish News as saying that the Lawlor attack and other attacks "would appear to be, and it's not justifying the situation, but it would appear to be that many of the attacks are in retaliation." Gibson went on to blame republicans for initiating sectarian violence in north and east Belfast. "The Loyalist Commission tried to de-escalate this situation and tried to affect real peace and stability within these areas, but it appears for some reason republicans don't want to step back at this point in time." His claim that the loyalist violence was only a response to republican violence is an echo of the loyalist paramilitary mantra regurgitated ad nauseum since the beginning of the troubles that loyalist violence was always simply a reaction to republican attacks, and was made despite clear evidence that loyalists have been responsible for the vast majority of sectarian attacks in recent years. (IN)

In Portadown, Loyalists fired shots into the house of a Catholic family in Charles Street, the bullets narrowly missed an 18 year old girl who was asleep in her bedroom at the time. (IN, CW, RUC/PSNI)

July 25, Thursday. Denis Bradley, vice-chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, told the Derry Journal that he was "concerned about … the police response to UDA attacks." Mr. Bradley added that there "has not been enough done by the police and by the security situation to actually protect, take on and deal - in whatever appropriate manner - with people like the UDA who are not necessarily doing any of this for political reasons." His comments were later criticised by the RUC/PSNI, fellow Policing Board members and Unionist political leaders. (DJ)

A 16-year-old youth was arrested following an RUC/PSNI discovery of a large quantity of ammunition in the loyalist Garneville area of east Belfast. (RUC/PSNI)

July 26, Friday. At a special council meeting, Belfast City Council agreed to organise a City Hall rally for the following Friday to protest against the recent upsurge in sectarian violence. The meeting was called in response to the weekend murder of Gerard Lawlor and a series of sectarian shootings in north Belfast over the previous week. (IN)

Minutes after midnight, four masked UDA/UFF men forced their way into a home on Derry's Waterside and shot a 23-year-old man twice in the leg. The man is a Catholic who shares a flat with a Protestant girlfriend at Heron Way. The man then needed surgery to have bullets removed. The attack, which was universally condemned by local politicians, was not a punishment attack - it was, in fact, a sectarian attack. Echoing the "Red Hand Defenders" statement claiming the murder of Gerard Lawlor, the UDA/UFF claimed the attack as "a measured military response to ongoing attacks on Protestant homes in Limavady and the Fountain." The statement also warned that Catholics would "not be tolerated" in Protestant areas of Derry. (LS, DJ, IN, CW)

July 28, Sunday. Loyalists living along Cluan Place in east Belfast erected a security camera and a floodlight to allegedly protect property. Cluan Place borders east Belfast's only Catholic enclave, the Short Strand. Those living in the Short Strand fear that the camera - which is aimed at the nationalist Clandeboye Drive - will be used to target Catholics. Local Sinn Féin Councillor Joe O'Donnell said that efforts are being made to get the camera removed. The RUC/PSNI said that it was their "desire that only official police cameras […be] used to monitor the area." (IN, SBN, CW)

Up to 100 Loyalists rioted in Sandy Row in south Belfast, causing extensive damage to property and attacking security forces with blast bombs, petrol bombs and other missiles. UDA-linked sources locally blamed west Belfast republicans for the violence, who they claimed had attacked a protestant home. Media reports that Belfast UDA-UFF Johnny Adair had been spotted in the vicinity the day previously, fuelled speculation that the west Belfast "C-Company" of the UDA/UFF, headed by Adair, is extending its influence throughout Belfast. Some local sources claimed that the rioting erupted after members of the RUC/PSNI had assaulted local youths. (IN, SBN, BBC, CW, RUC/PSNI)

Errata:

In our July report of sectarian attacks there were a number of errors which we wish to correct:

We reported that on July 13 "The DUP’s Ian Crozier [had] put a proposal before the Belfast City Council calling for the restoration of the home of RIC District Inspector John Nixon" when in fact Mr Crozier had merely announced his intention to put such a proposal before Belfast City Council.

The section should therefore read:

"The DUP’s Ian Crozier announced his intention to put a proposal before the Belfast City Council calling for the restoration of the home of RIC District Inspector John Nixon. Crozier claims Nixon "did a good service for people in North Belfast…" Nationalists, however, regard the man as a hated figure responsible for directing and taking part in a number of sectarian murders in the years following partition. North Belfast historian Joe Baker compared honouring Nixon with paying tribute to Lenny Murphy — the leader of the Shankill Butchers. (NBN, IN)"

We also reported loyalist petrol bomb attacks on Catholic owned cars and homes in Ligoniel on Friday July 19. This incident in fact occurred on Thursday July 18.

Omission:

In our reporting of the spate of shootings on July 21 which would culminate in the murder of 19-year-old Catholic Gerard Lawlor in the early hours of July 22, we omitted a shooting incident in Ligoniel, which occurred shortly after the attempt on the life of Ryan Corbett outside Henry Joy’s in Oldpark bar between 10.30 and 10.45 pm. About 15 minutes after the Oldpark incident a dark coloured car drove down the Ligoniel Road, one of the occupants opened fire with 5-6 shots on a group of Catholic residents standing outside 69-98 Ligoniel Road. No-one was injured, cartridges were recovered from the scene and strike marks can be seen o the walls. (RUC/PSNI, CW)

Accordingly the entry should now read:

July 21, Sunday. Loyalists tried to abduct a Catholic man at the Broadway roundabout in north Belfast. At 7.30pm 19-year-old Glenbryn Protestant Mark Blaney was shot and wounded in the groin by a gunman firing from Alliance Avenue. His attackers are thought to have been members of the INLA. Later on, loyalists on a motorcycle attempted to kill a Catholic man on the Oldpark Road. At about 10 pm, two men standing outside a house in Salisbury Avenue were fired on by two UDA men in a white Nissan car. They were not hit. At about 10:30-10:45 p.m. UDA members held a gun to the head of Ardoyne teenager Ryan Corbett outside Henry Joys bar on the Oldpark Road. The gun jammed. 15 minutes later a dark coloured car drove down the Ligoniel Road, one of the occupants opened fire with 5-6 shots on a group of Catholic residents standing outside 69-98 Ligoniel Road. No-one was injured. At 11.20pm, 29-year-old Catholic, Jason O’Halloran was shot in Rosapenna Court where he was walking with a friend. A gunman fired at least twelve shots from a car that drew alongside the pair. Mr. O’Halloran was shot in both legs and the groin. Throughout the evening, Loyalists from Glenbryn attacked Catholic houses in Alliance Avenue with paint and petrol bombs. (AN, NBN, IN)

 

 

Sources:

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

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