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Concern expressed at increase in tension in Rasharkin

18 July, 2011

 North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that the Twelfth period had seen an increase in tension in the Rasharkin area and stated that more needs to be done to reduce tension. He also condemned the recent loyalist activity in Rasharkin and the graffiti attack on Dunloy Orange Hall. Mr McKay said “Rasharkin has been relatively peaceful for a considerable period of time now. That unfortunately was broken in the leadup to the Twelfth when loyalists phoned in a hoax bomb warning concerning the local GAA pitch and the tricolour was stolen in the village to be burnt at an Orange bonfire. What residents found especially abhorrent however was the local Orange bonfires where pictures of local woman Leanne Peacock where placed to be burned. This practice is truly barbaric and clearly instills hatred in young people attending these events against members of the Catholic / nationalist community. Otherwise the placing of these posters - which clearly marks out Leanne and other representatives as targets – would not take place. The silence from Unionist politicians concerning this practice is deafening. “Two attacks on cars took place in the village, belonging to a Catholic resident and Protestant resident respectively, leaving both vehicles with considerable damage. That is of concern and there is an onus on anyone with influence to try and reduce tensions in the period ahead.” Speaking about the recent attack on Dunloy Orange Hall Mr McKay continued: “The daubing of graffiti on Dunloy Orange Hall is to be condemned and residents in the village are of the opinion that not only is it sectarian and wrong but it leaves this part of the village as an eyesore. Those carrying out these repeat attacks should desist immediately, they do not represent anyone living here.” ENDS

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