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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 August 2005, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
Couple leaving home after attack
The attack at Tudor Vale caused damage in the living room and hall
The attack at Tudor Vale caused damage in the living room and hall
A couple are to leave their County Antrim home after an overnight attack.

Bottles filled with paint were thrown at the house in Tudor Vale in Ahoghill, at 2330 BST on Monday.

Police have said they are treating the attack on the Catholic couple as sectarian. A primary school and Catholic church were also targeted.

Pat McGaughey, who has lived there for eight years, said they feared for their lives. "We are not willing to take a chance on our safety," she said.

"We are going to move, we are going to leave, we'll have to sell our house and go.

But Mrs McGaughey said she felt "nothing has been said" by the church leaders or the politicians to help to end such attacks.

On Tuesday morning, the parish priest of St Mary's Church on the Ballynafie Road in the village discovered that paint had been thrown on the driveway.

There was a similar attack at St Joseph's School in the village.

The McCaugheys are leaving their home
The McCaugheys are to leave their home

Police said the paint was similar to that used in the attack at Tudor Vale.

The DUP Mayor of Ballymena, Tommy Nicholl, condemned the attack and said he sympathised with the McGaughey family.

He called on "all right-thinking people to ensure that this type of activity is brought to an end".

In a joint statement, the ministers of Ahoghill's three Presbyterian churches condemned recent sectarian attacks, which they described as "evil".

"We feel also the need to point out that whatever the perceived cause those involved purport to advance, their creed is not that of historic Protestantism," the statement added.

SDLP councillor Declan O'Loan condemned the attacks saying they were the "latest in a long line of shameful sectarian attacks in Ahoghill and the surrounding area".

"It is clear that there are people in our society hell bent on intimidating Catholic residents".

Sinn Fein assembly member Philip McGuigan said the attacks were part of a campaign to force out Catholics.

He said: "Over recent weeks and months the small Catholic population in Ahoghill has come under a sustained and violent unionist paramilitary campaign."

Church of Ireland Primate Archbishop Robin Eames said all sectarian violence in Northern Ireland must end.

"Protestants and Roman Catholics must reject and condemn all attacks made under the guise of loyalism or republicanism," he said.

Last week, Catholic residents in the village were supplied with fire-resistant blankets and smoke alarms amid fears of fresh attacks.

Security patrols in the village were also stepped up following a series of attacks by loyalists.

A PSNI spokesman said the decision to give out the blankets was "unprecedented".

However, he said it was taken after fresh intelligence suggested more attacks on Catholics were imminent.

Police also visited a number of homes in Brookfield Gardens and Laurel Park estates to warn Catholic families that they were under threat.

The warnings followed several incidents of intimidation in the village.


SEE ALSO:
Appeal follows 'sectarian' attack
01 Aug 05 |  Northern Ireland
Woman flees after intimidation
11 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland


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