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Deep Concern over PSNI inaction after Weekend Sectarian Attacks

9 October, 2007

Sinn Féin MLA for Portadown John O Dowd has said he is deeply concerned about the circumstances surrounding a sectarian attack in Portadown at the weekend when 2 nationalists were assaulted in the Woodhouse street are of the town.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Eyewitness reports indicate that the PSNI were in the area and were aware of a loyalist mob in Woodhouse street, a nationalist part of the town, and that the PSNI failed to move them on even though the street has a record of being the scene of such attacks.

"More worrying even are that eyewitness reports that the PSNI failed to intervene when the loyalist mob attacked and slashed one man with a bottle and them proceeded to chase another man down and severely beat him.

"This same area witnessed the brutal murder of Robert Hamill under the same circumstances and quite rightly local people are outraged that such a scenario can repeat itself ten years later.

"To compound matters it now appears no forensic or follow search was carried following the assaults.

Concluding Mr O Dowd said,

"The Police Ombudsman's office is involved after complaints from local people, however the PSNI must show its ability to serve all without fear or favour particularly in areas such as Portadown were nationalists have only ever experienced bad policing." ENDS

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