The following list of sectarian and other hate-driven incidents and attacks is from 1 through 31 October 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 September 2002 is available on our website at

October 1, Tuesday A petrol bomb thrown by loyalists struck the roof of an abandoned bungalow in Strand Walk, a row of houses inhabited mainly by pensioners in the Catholic Short Strand enclave in east Belfast. Residents complained of a psychological war being waged against them. Local sources said this indicated a shift in focus of attacks from the Clandeboye-Cluan Place and Madrid Street interfaces to the Newtownards Road interface. (IN, CW)

A suspected loyalist pipe bomb was found in a tree in a wooded area close to a children's playground in north Belfast. (IN, AN, CW)

October 2, Wednesday. The Irish News reported that loyalist bandsmen had broken a window of St Mary's church in Killyleagh, Co Down as people were coming out of Mass on Saturday September 28. (IN)

October 3, Thursday. Loyalists petrol bombed the church of St Mary's on the Hill, in Glengormley, north of Belfast. It was the latest in a long series of attacks on the church and neighbouring primary school. The nearby Church of St Bernard's was gutted in a blaze in 2001 after an arson attack claimed by "Protestants for Justice". A man was seen running from the scene of the attack on St Mary's at 10.30pm. (IN, PSNI)

October 4, Friday. Community sources reported that residents of the mainly Catholic Ardoyne Road and Alliance Avenue came under attack from a group of forty loyalist men. (CW)

October 5, Saturday. At 3.00pm a gang of loyalists attacked a wedding party as they left St Matthew's Catholic Church in the Short Strand. This was followed by an attack on Mass goers at the same Church at 5.30pm. Short Strand residents have been calling for a PSNI presence at this time to stop the weekly attack on people going to 7 o'clock Mass. (CW)

Nationalists broke into and set fire to an Orange Hall in Edentilone, near Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone. A second hall, in nearby Liskelly, was ransacked, and the PSNI reported that they were investigating a separate attack on an Orange Hall in Portstewart, Co Derry. Four men were arrested in connection with the arson attack in Edentilone. (IN, PSNI)

The South Belfast News reported that people coming out of Mass at St Matthews Church in the Short Strand on Sunday 29 September had to run a gauntlet of bricks, bottles and stones thrown by loyalists who were celebrating Ulster day. Loyalists petrol bombed the same church the following day. (IN, SBN)

In north Belfast nationalist and loyalist youths attacked each other with stones at the Alliance Avenue interface. Later on, a gang of up to 30 adults from the loyalist side attacked Catholic children with bricks and bottles. Fireworks and three shots were fired into Alliance Avenue. On the Limestone Road, Tiger's Bay loyalists clashed with local nationalists. (CW)

October 6, Sunday. Loyalists rioted with the PSNI after clashing with Glasgow Celtic fans in the Westland Road/ Cavehill area in north Belfast. Several shots were fired at the PSNI. One Catholic home was attacked. (IN, NBN, CW, PSNI)

The UDA were blamed for a sustained attack by 20 men, using bricks, concrete blocks, slates and bolts, on Catholic homes on the Ardoyne Road and in Alliance Avenue close to Glenbryn, which began at 7.00am. Residents said the attack was a carbon copy of one a week previously in which up to 80 loyalist men attacked Catholic residents. (NBN, CW, IN)

Short Strand residents recorded intermittent loyalist firework and stone attacks on Catholic homes across the interfaces at Cluan Place, Thistle Court and Bryson Street from the early hours of the morning until 2.00pm. At 6.00pm "40 drunken loyalists attacked Clandeboye with bricks, bottles, fireworks and petrol bombs." At 10.00pm the attacks started again, going on until 1.00am. According to the PSNI, petrol bombs were thrown at Catholic and Protestant homes on either side of the Clandeboye-Cluan place interface after the Celtic-Rangers match. (CW, PSNI)

October 7, Monday. Loyalists, said by locals to belong to the UDA, assaulted and attempted to kidnap two Catholic men as they walked through the Carrickhill estate in north Belfast. After the assault, 55-year old father of two Paddy Murphy was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he was put on a life-support machine. The PSNI said they were investigating an alleged assault. A large crowd of loyalists from Glenbryn entered Alliance Avenue and attacked Catholics with bricks, bottles and slates. In Skegoniel, masked loyalists attacked cars while shouting sectarian abuse and threatening to burn residents out. (NBN, CW)

In the Short Strand, loyalists intermittently threw fireworks, stones and bottles across the interfaces at Cluan place, Thistle Court and Madrid Street. The attacks continued throughout the day. Residents complained that the attackers carried on unhindered by the PSNI and British Army, who were present throughout. (CW)

October 8, Tuesday. In the Short Strand, loyalists attacked Catholic homes from across the interface in Cluan Place throughout the day with fireworks, stones and bottles. After the PSNI moved in at 6.00pm "things intensified, bungalows in Clandeboye [were hit with] petrol bombs, stones, fireworks [and] bottlesŠright through until 4.00am". (CW)

Loyalist youths from Glenbryn attacked Catholic homes in Alliance Avenue, in north Belfast. (CW)

October 9, Wednesday. Loyalists smashed the window of St Matthew's parochial house in the Short Strand area of east Belfast. The attack came as a day and night-long assault on the area was conducted by loyalists using pipe bombs, fireworks, bricks and bottles from across the interfaces at Cluan Place and Madrid Street. According to the PSNI, nationalists petrol bombed a house in Cluan Place during disturbances that started after 100 loyalists had gathered in the Albertbridge Road/Woodstock Road area and tried to enter the Short Strand by Mountpottinger Road. The attacks continued all night. (IN, CW, PSNI)

DUP councillors in Ballymena withdrew support for a congratulatory letter to be sent to the Armagh Gaelic Football team, congratulating them on their All-Ireland victory. Councillor Robin Stirling said this was because of the GAA's "sectarian anti-Protestant bias". (IN, CW)

October 10, Thursday. Loyalist firework, brick and bottle attacks on the Catholic Short Strand continued into the morning from across all interfaces. (IN, CW)

The Irish News reported that the Ulster Young Militants (UYM), youth wing of the UDA-UFF, was responsible for graffiti threatening Catholic students in south Belfast. (IN, SBN, CW)

In north Belfast loyalists stoned Catholic homes on the Limestone Road. Homes in Alliance Avenue also came under attack from loyalists. (CW)

October 11, Friday. In the Short Strand enclave in east Belfast there were "sporadic" firework and stone attacks on Catholic homes in Madrid Street, Bryson Street and Clandeboye. Locals complained of sectarian taunts by RIR soldiers positioned in the area, and of PSNI and RIR inaction in the face of a loyalist "heavy bombardment" of houses in Clandeboye. (CW)

October 12, Saturday. Loyalists used fireworks, stones, bottles, paint bombs and petrol bombs to attack homes in Madrid Street, Clandeboye and the Albertbridge Road in the mainly Catholic Short Strand enclave in east Belfast. Residents again complained of security force inaction and of abuse from RIR soldiers when they complained. (CW)

In north Belfast, loyalists carried out repeated attacks on Catholic homes in Alliance Avenue and Ardoyne Road with stones, bolts, bottles, golf balls, lit and unlit petrol bombs, and nailed paint-bombs. Residents complained that the PSNI's CCTV cameras were ineffective in preventing the attacks. One teenage Catholic girl was injured. (CW)

In north Belfast, loyalists stoned Catholic homes on the Limestone Road and Newington throughout the day. (CW)

October 13, Sunday. A Catholic father of four, working in an alleyway in Alliance Avenue, north Belfast, had four petrol bombs thrown at him. The attack followed a weekend during which nationalists attacked homes in Protestant Glenbryn, and loyalists attacked Catholic homes in Alliance Avenue. (IN, CW, PSNI)

Loyalists in Cluan Place, Thistle Court and Madrid Street mounted several attacks on Catholic homes in the Short Strand in east Belfast, with bricks, heavy stones, bottles and fireworks. At one point a 7-year-old child was taken to hospital suffering from shock and an asthma attack. The attacks continued until 4.00am. (CW)

October 14, Monday. Loyalists threw two devices, described as improvised hand-grenades, at Catholic homes in the Short Strand. Both devices exploded. One of the devices exploded beside the home of a Catholic mother of four young children. The same home has been attacked four times since July this year. East Belfast Ulster Unionist Councillor Jim Rodgers said that Short Strand residents and "senior" PSNI officers had told him that the devices had been planted by republicans. Local residents complained of the ineffectiveness of the PSNI's CCTV cameras in protecting them. (IN, CW)

Arsonists set fire to St Patrick's Catholic Primary School on the Loughgall Road in Armagh. (IN, PSNI)

October 15, Tuesday. In east Belfast loyalists in Cluan Place firebombed Catholic homes in Clandeboye Drive. (IN, CW)

In north Belfast loyalists used paint and petrol bombs to attack Catholic homes in Alliance Avenue. Loyalists also attacked Catholic homes in Parkside and Newington. (IN, CW)

October 16, Wednesday. In Craigyhill, Larne, armed and masked loyalists smashed through the front door into the home of a mixed religion family and threatened to blow their brains out, ordered them to leave within 24 hours, and then threw bricks through all the windows in the house. (IN, CW)

Loyalists threw a hand-grenade type pipe bomb at a Catholic home in Newington, north Belfast. Loyalists stoned Catholic children going to the shops. (IN)

In the Short Strand, loyalists attacked Catholic homes in Madrid Street and Clandeboye throughout the afternoon and evening and into the early hours of the morning. (CW)

October 17, Thursday. Work on the "peace line" in east Belfast was halted after workers were attacked and received death threats from loyalist paramilitaries. The PSNI claimed that "both sides" had attacked the workers. The claim was strongly refuted by nationalists. Local sources said the PSNI had questioned the workmen after loyalists had claimed they were passing on information to republicans. (IN, CW, PSNI)

36-year-old Apprentice Boy Ian Robert Edwards, from Staffordshire, England, was fined £458 by Antrim Magistrates court for attempting to smuggle a Magnum .357 revolver bullet through Belfast International Airport, on his way back from being initiated into the Tiger's Bay Apprentice Boy's Walking Club. (IN)

October 18, Friday. Masked men viciously assaulted two Italian men at their house in Ballycarry, Co Antrim. It is thought the attack was xenophobic. (IN)

Four Catholic teenagers were targeted by loyalists in a drive-by shooting at the corner of Harcourt Drive and Clifton Drive in north Belfast. No one was injured. It later transpired that the bullets fired had been blanks. Glenbryn youths attacked Catholic homes on Ardoyne Road with bricks and bottles. (IN, CW, PSNI)

October 19, Saturday. Loyalists were blamed for firing a shot into the house of a young Catholic family in Manor Street, north Belfast. The shot narrowly missed the young father as he passed his living room window. The family have since fled their home. (IN, CW, PSNI)

October 20, Sunday. In north Belfast, loyalist youths attacked Catholic homes in Alliance Avenue and Ardoyne Road with bricks and bottles. This was followed by an attack in which adults used petrol bombs against Catholic residents. Local residents complained that the PSNI did little to prevent the attacks, preferring instead to attempt to confiscate a video camera held by one of the residents. (CW)

October 22, Tuesday. Three people were injured in a loyalist pipe bomb attack on three Catholic youths who were playing football in Bryson Street, in the Short Strand, east Belfast. One of the injured was a 14-year-old boy who received three stitches for a shrapnel wound to his side. Also injured were an older teenager and a 67-year-old man out walking his dog. Ulster Unionist councillor Michael Copeland suggested that republicans might have planted the device. The UDA said it was "green propaganda". Earlier, Catholic homes in Clandeboye had been attacked with petrol bombs in the presence of PSNI officers who were said to have mocked residents who had asked them to call the fire brigade. Loyalists then knocked down a wall and used the bricks to attack Mass goers coming out of St Matthews. Locals said that the PSNI watched throughout. (IN, CW, PSNI)

The PSNI seized what was described as a "massive" UDA arsenal in Rathcoole north Belfast. Included were 5 sub-machine guns (four of which were home-made), four hand guns, a shot gun, a keyhole (booby trap) anti-personnel bomb, some pipe bombs and 15kg (33lb) of ammunition. One man was arrested. It later emerged that the 5.56mm SA80 rounds and magazines from SA80s discovered may have been British army issue, while 9mm ammunition was from Israeli Military Industries. Marie McColgan, the mother of the murdered 19-year-old postman, Daniel McColgan (see January 2002) later accused the PSNI of dragging its feet over carrying out ballistics tests on weapons found in this and other hauls. (IN, PSNI, CW, NBN)

October 23, Wednesday. It was announced that there would be a further 6-month delay in the publication of the report of the investigation by Metropolitan Police commissioner John Stephens into the assassination of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane. UDA gunmen murdered Pat Finucane in front of his wife and children in 1989, with RUC Special Branch and military intelligence complicity. The delay in the publication was found to be "deeply suspicious" by the widow of the murdered solicitor. (IN)

The PSNI questioned Lurgan loyalist Drew King in connection with the LVF's September 2001 murder of Catholic journalist Martin O'Hagan (see September 2001). He was later released unconditionally. (IN)

In the Short Strand, large groups of loyalists attacked pensioners' homes in Strand Walk. There were also repeated attacks on homes in Clandeboye, Madrid Street and Bryson Street. Locals again complained that the PSNI's CCTV cameras were completely ineffective. (CW)

Gerard McRandal, a 29-year-old Catholic from Larne suffered severe and irreversible brain damage when a gang of loyalists kicked him repeatedly in the head, having attacked him outside Gardenmore Flats as he was on his way home. (IN)

October 24, Thursday. A Belfast Judge refused bail to 25-year-old Andre Shoukri, known as "The Egyptian" and suspected of being the UDA's north Belfast brigadier. Mr Shoukri had been arrested along with 34-year-old William McCullough on September 21 when weapons and ammunition had been found in the car in which they were travelling. A PSNI officer told the court he believed the north Belfast UDA had been involved in sectarian murders, attempted murders, intimidation, drugs, racketeering, counterfeit goods, and orchestrating public disorder on the streets. (IN)

The PSNBI found a small suspected loyalist arms cache in Edenmore in Limavady, Co Derry. Included were pipe bomb components, a sawn-off shotgun, an imitation pistol and ammunition. (IN, LS)

Loyalists threw a "very large firework" into Clandeboye, causing damage to car. Later, there was another very loud explosion in Madrid Street. Locals complained that the PSNI had withdrawn its presence from Cluan Place and that the CCTV camera at Madrid Street had failed to stop the attack. (CW)

The PSNI said they were investigating an arson attack on a house in Manor Street in Oldpark, north Belfast. Local residents reported that a pipe bomb had been thrown into the back of a Catholic home in Alliance Avenue. The Red Hand Defenders (cover name for the UDA) claimed responsibility for a pipe bomb that was thrown at the home of a man described as a "senior republican" in Ardoyne. (PSNI, CW)

October 26, Saturday. In the Short Strand, loyalists threw fireworks and other missiles at homes in Clandeboye from 10.30am until 3.00pm, when 10 petrol bombs were thrown. People attempting to put out the fires were attacked with fireworks and bottles. In the evening, residents reported seeing a loyalist gunman on the Cluan Place/ Clandeboye Drive peaceline. The attacks continued into the night, with golf balls, bricks and large fireworks being thrown over the wall into the early hours. (CW)

October 27, Sunday. Alliance Avenue residents reported a loyalist pipe bomb exploding at 4.30am. Loyalist sources and the PSNI denied the claim. (CW, NBN)

The PSNI reported discovering a pipe bomb cache in Muckamore, Antrim town. (PSNI)

October 28, Monday. In east Belfast, a crowd of loyalists threw fireworks at pensioners' houses in Strand Walk from the Newtownards Road. Later another crowd threw fireworks and petrol bombs at homes in Clandeboye Gardens, setting two the houses on fire. The petrol bomb attacks continued while firefighters put out the flames. There were reports of blast bombs and other missiles being thrown at houses in Protestant Cluan place. There were also attacks on Catholic homes from across the Madrid Street interface. A crowd of loyalists tried to enter the Catholic enclave via Mountpottinger Road but were prevented by the PSNI who gave chase and made one arrest. Attacks on Clandeboye Gardens from Cluan Place continued into the night. The PSNI reported an assault on a 16-year-old youth as he got off a bus in east Belfast. They also reported that a man was injured when he was hit in the neck by a missile thrown through the window of a bus he was travelling on in the Albertbridge Road area. (IN, CW, SBN)

The PSNI said security forces had discovered an unexploded pipe bomb in Farringdon Court, Ardoyne, north Belfast. (PSNI)

Loyalists were blamed for attempting to ram a stolen car through the main door of St Patrick's High School in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, before setting it on fire. (IN)

October 29, Tuesday. In east Belfast, intermittent firework, bottle and brick attacks on Catholic homes in Clandeboye drive from loyalists in Cluan Place began in the early hours ad continued throughout the day. In the middle of the afternoon there were reports of nationalist youths throwing missiles from Clandeboye into Cluan Place. At about 6.00pm a gang of 25 loyalists "led a sustained bottle, brick and firework attack on Clandeboye Drive and Gardens". The PSNI were called out and witnessed holes in the fence that were being used by loyalists to launch attacks on Catholic homes. The attacks resumed with pipe and petrol bombs being thrown. Fire fighters dousing flames came under petrol bomb attack. Security forces were present throughout, but were said to be unable to apprehend the attackers because loyalists had successfully blocked access to Cluan Place. (CW)

October 30, Wednesday. The PSNI arrested one man after an improvised nailbomb was shoved through the letterbox of a mixed-religion couple living in the mainly Protestant Ballymagorry village, near Strabane in Co Tyrone. The couple's 14-year-old daughter had been the target of repeated bullying and physical assaults in the district. (IN)

In the Short Strand in east Belfast there were repeated attacks on Catholic homes from across the peace lines at Cluan Place, Madrid Street, Thistle Court, Susan Street and the Newtownards Road. A crowd of brick throwing loyalist youths twice tried to gain access to the enclave via Mountpottinger Road. (CW)

October 31, Thursday. The UDA was blamed for attempting to kidnap a 20-year-old Catholic man who was with his 16-year-old Protestant former girlfriend visiting friends in Winchester Park in the mainly-Protestant Kilfennan district in Derry. A gun was pointed in the man's face while the gang smashed the car's windows and bodywork. The couple escaped by driving away. (IN, LS, PSNI, CW)

The North Belfast News reported that Catholic residents of Alliance Avenue had video evidence of uniformed PSNI officers helping known loyalists carry crates of alcoholic drinks into one of two illegal north Belfast drink and drug dens which are regularly used by loyalists who launch sectarian attacks on Catholics. A PSNI spokesperson said the dens were under investigation (NBN, CW)

An Asian family living in Pollock Drive, in a loyalist area in Lurgan, Co Armagh, were the subject of a racist attack during which 15 youths kicked in their front door, shouted abuse, vandalised the family car and daubed racist slogans on the windows. The family have left the estate. It was reported that a house in nearby Princetown Drive, belonging to an Asian man, was daubed with racist graffiti alluding to the British ultra-nationalist National Front and Combat 18. (IN)

An Asian family living in Trossachs, south Belfast, were once again the target of racist intimidation. In the latest development in an ongoing campaign of racist harassment against the family, fireworks were thrown into the house. The area has a history of racist and sectarian intimidation. (SBN)

AF: Anti-fascist watchdog AFA.
BT: The Belfast Telegraph
BBC: BBC radio and television news, BBC online, Radio Foyle (Derry)
CW: Local community workers
DJ: Derry Journal
DN Derry News
G: The Guardian (Manchester, London)
Ind: The Independent (London)
IE: Irish Examiner (Cork)
IN: Irish News (Belfast)
IT: Irish Times (Dublin)
ITN: Independent Television News
LS: Londonderry Sentinel
NBN: North Belfast News
NL: Newsletter (Belfast)
Obs: The Observer (London)
PFC: Pat Finucane Centre
RM: RM Distribution
PSNI: Police Service of Northern Ireland press office.
SBP: Sunday Business Post (Dublin)
SBN: South Belfast News
ST: Sunday Tribune (Dublin)
UTV: Ulster Television