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SF Councillor condemns vicious sectarian assault on Downpatrick resident

10 June, 2008

Down Sinn Féin Councillor Éamon Mac Con Midhe has condemned the brutal sectarian attack on a man in Downpatrick at the weekend.

Cllr Mac Con Midhe said

"The incident occurred during the early hours of Saturday morning when Terrence McCarthy was assaulted by a gang of hoods from the Bridge Street area of Downpatrick.

"The victim was knocked to ground where he was repeatedly kicked as his attackers chanted 'Fenian Bastard.'

"I would like to express my sympathy to Mr McCarthy whose family I have known since childhood.

"This is only the latest tragedy to beset the family who have lost three brothers, one of whom was murdered during a vicious beating. It is now feared that Terrence will loose the sight in one eye.

"Tensions in Downpatrick have been raised following this incident which people had feared might happen and I would urge restraint on all sides.

"Those responsible have erected a number of sectarian flags and have been hanging around the bottom of Bridge Street late in the evenings for some weeks, fuelled by alcohol, shouting at passers by and trying to incite trouble.

"I call on young people angered by this attack not to allow themselves to be incited into retaliation.

"Sinn Féin will be raising this matter with the Policing Partnership and we will insist that the PSNI do all within their power to take action against those responsible.

"A predominantly nationalist town, unionist residents in Downpatrick are seldom troubled on account of their politics or religion. We want to seek to keep it this way but this is made more difficult when incidents of this nature occur.

"Young people must not allow themselves to be react to this type of provocation. The solution is to have the attackers identified and brought before the courts in order to protect the general public from this type of vicious assault." ENDS

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