Two homes in north Antrim were attacked yesterday by racists thought to be linked to the unionist paramilitary UDA. Meanwhile, a riot in south Belfast at the weekend has been linked to a PSNI bid to prevent racist attacks in the area.
Two racist attack in the early hours of Saturday morning in the County Antrim village of Cullybacky are understood to be connected.
Both houses are close to each other and on a wall behind one property fascist graffiti comprising of ‘C18’ (Combat 18) and a swastika has been sprayed.
C18 has previously been used as a cover name for the UDA. The attacks have also been linked to a recent leafleting campaign in the area by the White Nationalist Party, which has been described as the ‘political wing’ of C18.
Sma Ndaea, who is originally from South Africa, said she was left frightened after her house in Cullybackey was attacked as she and her four-year-old son slept upstairs.
The front window of Mrs Ndaea’s house in a predominantly Protes-tant housing estate was broken shortly after 1am.
The 30-year-old, who is a trained nurse, said: “I have never been intimidated by anybody. I cannot say why anybody wanted to attack me. I am not a threat. I work for the community at a nursing home,” Mrs Ndaea said.
“There has never been any complaint about me.”
The second attack, which happened a short time later, was on a female work colleague of Mrs Ndaea’s who is from India.
She had not been in her home at the time of the attack, which also saw a window broken.
Sinn Féin north Antrim assembly member Philip McGuigan said the attacks “are unacceptable and must end”.
“The entire community including leading unionist representatives in North Antrim need to make their voices heard on this.
“Unfortunately in the past they have been slow to speak out against sectarian attacks on Catholics in this area. They have failed to provide the necessary political leadership to try and stop sectarianism and I had feared that the recent racist attacks in Belfast would spread to areas like this.
“Sectarianism and racism are two sides of the same coin. We need to tackle both with equal vigour. The Cullybackey attacks taken with recent sectarian attacks in Ballymena now make that challenge very real for representatives in North Antrim.”
On Friday, the PSNI police arrested two men following searches in the loyalist Village area of south Belfast.
Following the arrests up to 40 youths attempted to block the nearby Broadway roundabout for 90 minutes with stones being thrown at passing motorists.
Motorists had to be diverted away from the area after the Westlink was closed because of the incident. It was eventually re-opened after the crowd was forced back into the Village area.
Hardline unionist councillor Ruth Patterson claimed that Friday night’s violence had been sparked by ‘heavy-handed’ police searches.
Earlier this year, racist attacks and threats in the area were blamed on the rival unionist paramilitary UVF, which has since moved to distance itself from racist violence.