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Sinn Féin to ask for Ombudsman to investigate latest intimidation in Stoneyford

14 December, 2007

Sinn Féin MLA Paul Butler has said he is to ask the Police Ombudsman to investigate sectarian attacks on Catholics in Stoneyford and the PSNI's failure to arrest or charge anyone.

Mr Butler said:

"The PSNI have failed the catholic community of Stoneyford. This latest incident in Stoneyford village were two young Catholics were intimidated is only the latest in a long campaign of sectarian intimidation.

"A number of weeks ago the family of one of these youths received death threats from loyalists. The previous week the grandmother of one of these youths had her house attacked.

"I am very concerned that these attacks have come after my meeting with the PSNI about sectarian attacks in Stoneyford. There is a small mindless element that is intent on heightening tensions in the village.

"Unionists must do more to bring a halt to these attacks on the Catholic community said Paul Butler. Unfortunately there is a deafening silence from both the DUP and UUP about this ongoing campaign in Stoneyford."

Paul Butler met with the Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland and District Commander Paula Hilman in the Castlereagh PSNI station on Friday 16th November about sectarian attacks in Stoneyford.

Speaking after that meeting Mr. Butler said,

"I asked for this meeting because there is an ongoing campaign of intimidation against Catholics by a group of loyalists in the Stoneyford village.

"The PSNI gave me an assurance that the well known loyalist behind the campaign is not being protected by them.

"I gave the PSNI officers a dossier of attacks against nationalists in the Stoneyford area.

"Sinn Fein is calling on the PSNI to ensure nationalists in the village are protected. The Nationalist population of Stoneyford need reassurance that they can live free from sectarian intimidation.

"The PSNI gave an undertaking that they would not tolerate people breaking the law. However, they seem to be powerless in preventing this sectarian campaign." ENDS

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