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Stanton concerned at rise in loyalist attacks

7 June, 2004

Sinn Fein MLA for North Belfast, Kathy Stanton, has said that nationalists are concerned about the growing number of loyalist attacks coming into the summer. She has also called on unionist leaders to do whatever is in their power to ensure a peaceful summer can be enjoyed by all. Speaking today Ms Stanton said:

"This weekend there was an attempted stabbing outside the Boundary Bar in Bawnmore by loyalists, some of whom were wearing Celtic tops, a ploy used by loyalists before. In the past three weeks a number of sizable holes have been deliberately cut in the interface fence at Newington and today we see a team of Catholic workmen attacked and their van having all its windows smashed on the Oldpark Road.

"It is certainly ominous that all these attacks have occurred in such a short space of time in different areas across North Belfast. I would strongly urge all nationalists to be cautious and extremely vigilant in the coming weeks. We are entering the marching season and this is well known a time when loyalists up the ante.

"I would also call on those leaders in the unionist community who have said that they will not talk to republicans at interface areas, or those who have stated that they will not be working to ensure that we can have a peaceful summer, to think realistically what that will achieve.

"We need all representatives, community workers and statutory agencies working flat out to realize that the summer need not be overshadowed by the threat of violence." ENDS

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