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Grieving mother ‘ordered out of home by loyalist paramilitaries’ in Northern Ireland

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A “very distraught” mother was ordered to leave her house in Northern Ireland by loyalist paramilitaries as she waited to bring her dead son’s body home, Sinn Fein has claimed.

Her windows were smashed in and a sectarian slur was scrawled on the walls of her home on Sunday evening in the north of Belfast, according to reports.

Sinn Fein’s Caral Ni Chuilin, the Northern Ireland Assembly member for Belfast North, condemned the attack and called it “sickening and depraved”.

She called on police to do more to tackle the “scourge of loyalist paramilitaries from our society” as she accused the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) of being behind the incident.

Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) said an investigation had been launched into a report of criminal damage and threats at a property.

The attack comes as another women was reportedly held under virtual house arrest and threatened with “bother” if she left her home, according to the Wave Trauma Centre support group, which said more of its resources were being stretched to deal with recent paramilitary intimidation.

Caral Ni Chuilin said the attack "sickening and depraved"
Image:
Caral Ni Chuilin said the attack was ‘sickening and depraved’

Speaking about the north Belfast incident, Ms Ni Chuilin said: “Police have confirmed that the loyalist paramilitary group, the UFF, threatened a woman and ordered her to leave her home in Oldpark today.

“Only hours later her home was attacked and the windows of her home were smashed.

“These shameful and depraved actions were carried in the full knowledge that her son, who died tragically last Thursday, was due to be waked from the family home.”

She said the woman alerted authorities after a group of men told her she had 24 hours to leave her home. She returned to the property with police to collect clothes, only to find her windows had been smashed and the anti-Catholic slur “taigs out” had been sprayed on her wall.

Ms Ni Chuilin added: “These sickening actions must be condemned by all and the criminals responsible should pack up and get off the backs of the community. The continued existence of these armed groups is a blight on society.

“The PSNI needs to intensify its efforts remove the scourge of loyalist paramilitaries from our society.”

Officers said they were called to an incident in Summer Street at 7.10pm.

PSNI’s Inspector McCullough said: “Inquiries into this incident are ongoing and at an early stage and we are working to establish a motive.

“We would like to hear from anyone who has information in relation to this incident and can assist our investigation to contact us on 101.”

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