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Nationalist outrage after attack on Catholic Rasharkin resident

21 August, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Antrim Philip McGuigan said today that nationalists living in Rasharkin are furious after a loyalist band member attacked a young resident in the town last night during a band parade.

Mr McGuigan said:

" Last night 27 loyalist bands where bussed into Rasharkin in order to hold an anti-Catholic parade through the town. Local people were angered by the decision of the Parades Commission to allow this disgraceful parade to happen.

" Local residents had a dignified and peaceful protest at the side of the road as the parade passed. One band member then broke from the parade in full view of the PSNI and attacked a nineteen year old local resident with a flute. The imprint of the flute was left on her head and she required staples to a serious head wound.

" The Parades Commission and the PSNI need to realise that nationalist people in North Antrim are not second class citizens and will not be treated as such. The days of loyalist bands and police forces walking over our rights and entitlements are long gone. The people made that very clear in the Assembly elections last year.

" Those organising this parade through the nationalist part of Rasharkin need to get a clear message that what went on last night is unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated." ENDS

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