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Glenshane attack has caused great anger in community - Martin McGuinness MP

2 May, 2006

Sinn Féin MP for Mid Ulster Martin McGuinness has this morning condemned loyalist attacks upon local people and property in the Glenshane Pass area as "wanton sectarian violence". Mr McGuinness also said that the incident had caused great anger within the local community.

Mr McGuinness made his comments after he visited some of those affected by last night‚s attack.

Speaking today Mr McGuinness said:

"Last night's attack upon the people of Glenshane has caused much anger within the local community. It is my understanding that a group of loyalist thugs travelling towards Derry City in a minibus had destroyed a mural commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strikes. When a 74 year old local farmer challenged them on this, he was assaulted and had his car attacked.

"It is my understanding that after the initial attack the gang returned to the Tobermore area. There a complaint, in relation to the assault was made to the PSNI by residents of Glenshane and no attempt was made to detain or arrest the suspects. Instead the PSNI escorted the mini bus back up the Glenshane Pass. The bus stopped again and a mother and her two sons were attacked in their own home and both sons required hospital treatment

"What can only be described as thuggery, was carried out in full view of the PSNI and no one was arrested at the scene. This incident raises serious concerns about the role of the PSNI, and their pathetic response can only reinforce resentment and the notion of partial policing within the local community. I have spoken with some of the local residents affected and advised them to contact their solicitors, with a view to raising the issue with the Ombudsman's office.

"I am satisfied that the majority of the Protestant/Unionist community in the South Derry area will be appalled by this incident." ENDS

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