[Sinn Fein]

28th July 1999

RUC watch as nationalist youth is assaulted

Upper Bann Assembly Member, Dr. Dara O'Hagan has accused the RUC of looking on as Loyalists assulted a 15 year old youth at the bottom of the Garvaghy Road tonight.

Dr. O'Hagan said:

``A stand off occured on the Garvaghy Road tonight as Loyallists gathered while an Orange Arch was being dismantled. The Orange supporters shouted insults at the nationalists residents and the atmosphere became extremely tense.

Loyalists attacked and beat a 15 year old nationalist youth within yards of two RUC Landrovers. The occupants of the RUC vehicles took no action to prevent the assult or to apprehend the assailants.

This of course is par for the course in Portadown when nationalists are attacked. It is the response that is expected from this partisan force. But it is an attack on the whole community when these biogts in uniform are then commended in the media for their even-headed policing of the situation.

Tonight's incident is reminiscent of the murderous attack, which resulted in the death of Robert Hamill in Portadown Town Centre. The RUC at the time also looked on whilst Loyalists kicked a notionalist to death. Fortunately the 15 year old, tonight, was rescued and taken to hospital, before he too suffered the same fate. It was of course no thanks to the brave RUC personnel in the Landrovers.''

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