Belfast Telegraph

Sectarian assault on Catholic girls ‘really obnoxious’

By Donna Deeney

A sectarian attack on two Catholic teenage girls, aged 14 and 17, has been described as “really obnoxious”.

The girls were assaulted by five men and a woman near Greenhall Highway in Coleraine on Friday night.

Police are investigating reports that loyalist band members were behind the attack.

Coleraine’s DUP Deputy Mayor Samuel Cole said that the people who carried out the attack must be handed over to the police.

He added: “There are thousands of band members coming through Coleraine without any problem but attacks like this give everyone a bad name.

“If a band knows that some of their members were behind the assaults on these two young girls then they must hand them over to the police.

“It is beyond comprehension that grown men would attack girls, it is really obnoxious.”

A police spokesman has appealed for information about the attack, in particular the movements of a red minibus which was seen in the area at the time.

It is believed that the mini-bus came from the Garvagh direction along the Dunhill Road towards Coleraine, before travelling back in the direction of Greenmount.

Sinn Fein MLA Billy Leonard described the assault on the two girls as “the lowest of the low”.

He said: “This has obviously been extremely traumatic for these girls at the scene and their parents”

Mr Leonard added: “Many loyalists around Coleraine have been reined in, but unfortunately we have a rump that still feel they can do as they please.

“It is now time that those responsible for band members dismiss these thugs and parade authorities refuse them permission to parade. “

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