The following list of sectarian and other hate-driven incidents and attacks is from 1 through 30 November 2003. 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.

 

1 November, Saturday. Security forces defused a pipe bomb in Carrickfergus. (UTV, PSNI)

A young couple and their three small children escaped injury after an explosion from a firework thrown through the window of their Enniskillen home. (PSNI)

3 November, Monday. Members of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association (NIGRA) laid a wreath at the Belfast City Hall Cenotaph to commemorate homosexuals who perished in two world wars, including in the Nazi concentration camps. Belfast councillor Nelson McCausland of the Paisleyite DUP dismissed the commemoration as "Just another of the stunts that the Gay Rights association pulls from time to time to try to make homosexual activity seem acceptable. " He also said that homosexuality was "unscriptural". (IN, CW)

4 November, Tuesday. The case of the attempted sectarian murder of a Catholic Ballymena man on October 11 came to the Belfast High Court. The court heard how the Catholic man had been visiting a Protestant friend of his in Patrick Place in the Harryville area of Ballymena. Some time after his friend went upstairs to sleep, he answered the door to a man called Aaron White, who then left and returned with two other men, including his brother Neil White. The man was quizzed about his name address and family, the answers to which questions indicated that he was a Catholic. The three men then carried out a "serious" and lengthy assault on the man, beating him repeatedly on the head with a saucepan, strangling him with an electrical cord and stabbing him in the body several times, shouting "die, fenian fucker, die". The man feigned death and when two of his attackers left to get materials with which to get rid of his body he seized the knife from Neil White. During the ensuing struggle, White was injured and called himself an ambulance. The Catholic man escaped and was later found bleeding heavily in nearby Henry Street by PSNI. Defence for Aaron White denied the attack was sectarian. The two other men are still missing (see October 11). (UTV)

In Glengormley, north of Belfast, a family was targeted in a petrol bomb attack on their Carnvue crescent home. (UTV, PSNI)

7 November, Friday. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, whose 12-year investigation into collusion has covered the murders of Pat Finucane and Adam Lambert, sent files on 10 further murders, also involving security force collusion with loyalist killers, to the Director of Public Prosecutions. (UTV, PA)

8 November, Saturday. The Andersonstown News reported that a Belfast City refuse worker hurled anti-catholic abuse at passers-by as he collected refuse in Belfast City centre. (AN)

10 November, Monday. Five Orangemen, including Mark Harbinson, a part time soldier, a footballer, Mark Wilson of the Ulster Protestant Movement for Justice and nine others, were freed by the Crown Court after pleading guilty to riotous assembly at Drumcree in Portadown in July 2002. (UTV)

Abbas Boutrab, a 25 year-old Algerian man held for six months without charge at Maghaberry prison for allegedly breaking immigration laws, charged the State with racism when PSNI arrested him on charges under the notorious Terrorism Act 2000. (UTV, PA)

11 November, Tuesday. Security forces defused a device left close to a house in north Belfast. The Red Hand Defenders (UDA cover name) told a Belfast newsroom it was targeting a spokesperson for the Parents of Holy Cross Primary School. The bomb was planted a day after the screening of the BBC Docudrama "Holy Cross". (UTV, NBN)

12 November, Wednesday. Loyalists were blamed for the arson attack on the north Belfast home of a Catholic family in which their oil tank was set on fire. A man, woman and five year old child were treated for shock and smoke inhalation. (UTV, PSNI)

13 November, Thursday. The Irish News reported that Belfast DUP councillor Ian Crozier had expressed reservations about having representatives from the German Government, Moslems or Irish Republicans at commemorations to remember the dead of two world wars in Belfast. (IN)

14 November, Friday. PSNI said they discovered an LVF-linked pipe bomb factory in Bloomfield in east Belfast. Also found were a sawn-off shotgun and a quantity of ammunition. A 23 year old man was arrested. (UTV, PSNI)

In Stoneyford, Co Antrim, security forces defused a device found in a residents garden. 40 families were evacuated from their homes. A Catholic couple who had run a pub in the area had been targeted multiple times with death threats, pipe bombs and sectarian graffiti signed "O.V." (Orange Volunteers, the paramilitary group responsible for much of the Drumcree related violence). The couple are complaining to the Police Ombudsman that the instigator, a well known Orangeman linked to the Drumcree trouble and who was arrested and then released following the police raid on Stoneyford Orange Hall, is effectively untouchable because he is a Special Branch agent. (UTV, ST)

The Irish News reported that a mixed religion couple living in the mainly Catholic Coolessan estate in Limavady, Co Derry, had been subjected to numerous anti-protestant attacks on their home and property. (IN)

15 November, Saturday. A 19 year old Catholic man from the Glen Road in West Belfast was left for dead after he was beaten unconscious by a gang of loyalists having been dropped-off by the PSNI in the loyalist Donegal Road area. (AN, CW)

Loyalists were blamed for causing a pipe bomb explosion at the home of a Catholic man in Oldpark, north Belfast. (UTV, PSNI)

Residents of an Irish Traveller caravan site at the Monagh Bypass in west Belfast have become the target of regular racial and sexual harassment by drunken members of the settled community, it has emerged. (AN, CW)

16 November, Sunday. A Catholic man suffered serious injuries, including the loss of an eye, after he was attacked by a four-man armed loyalist gang as he left the Boundary Bar in the Shore Road area of Belfast. PSNI said they were treating the attack as attempted murder. The attack was claimed by the Loyalist Action Force, a cover name for the UDA. (UTV, PSNI, NBN, IN)

A man was being questioned following an arson attack on the Pinley Green home of a couple in Markethill, Co Armagh. (UTV)

The UDA issued a death threat against SDLP party election worker Billy Leonard in Coleraine. (IN, BBC)

17 November, Monday. News that a Gay Police Officers branch is to be set up inside the PSNI was dismissed as being "politically correct" by former mayor of Belfast, Sammy Wilson. The Police Board representative from the Paisleyite DUP added "It's ironic that on the one hand they are breathing down Orangemen's necks, getting them to register as such, and yet they believe special attention should be given to the needs of gay police staff". (UTV, IN)

18 November, Tuesday. Loyalists are thought to have been behind the hoax pipe-bomb left at the Castleton Avenue home of north Belfast Community worker Eddie McLean. (UTV)

20 November, Thursday. James McMahon, a 21 year old Catholic man, was fatally wounded when he was bludgeoned with baseball bats by a masked loyalist gang at Hancock Street, close to the river Lagan in Lisburn, Co Antrim. He and two friends had been chased by the gang as they walked home after a night out in town. He died the next day from his wounds. James had just started a job at Coca-Cola. The UDA have been blamed for the murder. Many British media outlets failed to even mention the murder. (UTV, PA, IN) (see 21 Nov)

21 November, Friday. James McMahon, 21 year old Catholic man from Lisburn attacked by masked loyalists, died from his wounds (see 20 Nov).

22 November, Saturday. A west Belfast man wearing an Antrim GAA shirt was beaten unconscious and left for dead by a gang of loyalists after he had wandered unawares into the Ballysillan area of north Belfast. (NBN, CW)

23 November, Sunday. On the Glendermott Road in Derry's Waterside, loyalists used a breeze-block to attack a taxi from the city-side firm of Foyle Taxis. The driver said it had been the third such attack on her car. (DJ, CW)

26 November, Wednesday. In Dunmurry, Co Antrim, a gang of 50 loyalists went on a sectarian rampage, tearing down nationalist election posters and laying siege to the mainly Catholic clientele of the Motte and Bailey bar. Locals said that the PSNI had said they were "too busy" when called out to intervene. (AN, CW)

27 November, Thursday. An unnamed Catholic member of the Territorial Army (British army reserve service) was awarded £32,500 by a fair Employment Tribunal for having suffered 11 years of sectarian harassment and discrimination. (UTV, PA)

In Toomebridge gunmen fired a shotgun blast through the living room window of a 24 year old man on the McCorley Road. (PSNI)

28 November, Friday. Mrs Sylvia Hackett, widow of Dermott Hackett, the 37-years old Catholic man shot dead near Omagh by loyalists in 1987, won leave to judicially review the failure or refusal of the Secretary of State to carry out a thorough investigation into her husbands murder in the light of allegations of RUC collusion with his loyalist murderers. (UTV, PA, IN)

30 November, Sunday. The PSNI in Belfast said they were questioning a man after an incident outside a city centre nightclub in which two men received stab wounds and a third facial injuries. (PSNI)

A 17 year old youth was badly assaulted on the Crumlin Road in north Belfast by a gang of men armed with cudgels who had been travelling in a car. The boy had been walking towards a taxi rank in the mainly Catholic Ardoyne, past Flax Street, close to the interface, when his assailants jumped out of a car. His father said he believed the attack was sectarian. The police said they were keeping an "open mind". (PSNI, IN)

 

Sources:
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
G:  Guardian
IE:  Irish Examiner
IN:  Irish News
IT:  Irish Times
ITN:  Independent Television News
LI:  London Independent
LS:  Londonderry Sentinel
NBN:  North Belfast News
NL:  Newsletter
NoW:  News of the World
OB:  Observer
PA:  Press Association
PFC:  Pat Finucane Centre
RM:  RM Distribution
PSNI:  Police Service of Northern Ireland (RUC) press office.
SBP:  Sunday Business Post
SBN:  South Belfast News
ST:  Sunday Tribune
UPMJ:  Ulster Protestant Movement For Justice website
UTV:  Ulster Television

 


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