Page last updated at 19:11 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 20:11 UK

Republicans attack Sinn Fein men


The fight broke out over an internment bonfire

Two Sinn Fein members have been attacked by republican youths in the Dunclug estate in Ballymena.

North Antrim MLA Daithi McKay and Cllr Padraig McShane were set upon outside the home of a community worker who was attacked the night before.

Both men sustained minor injuries. The dispute started over the removal of a bonfire to commemorate internment.

Mr McKay said the community would not be "silenced or deterred by a small number of hoods".

"No-one has forced their will on us in the past and we will not allow these people to do that now," he said.

"We will continue to stand with the community in opposition to the activities taking place at this bonfire and to highlight their demand for it to go."

The community worker, who does not want to be identified, said he was now considering leaving the estate.

"Last night there was probably up to 20 young people," he said.

"Twenty young people who can hold a community of 900 houses to ransom.

"There is not much future for us, I can't see how the regeneration plans are going to work."

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