Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

'Drunken hooligans' attack DUP man Sammy Brush for the 39th time

Sammy Brush
Sammy Brush

A DUP councillor who has been attacked 39 times has slammed the culprits of the latest incident as "drunken hooligans".

Sammy Brush survived a murder attempt in 1981, suffers verbal abuse daily and has had his property attacked 39 times.

The latest incident came at around 5am on Saturday.

He was awoken by a sudden noise to the window of his home in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone, and saw a man kicking a beer keg at his car, damaging the bonnet.

Two months ago a man caused severe damage to his back door by hitting it with a beer keg.

Mr Brush said the "drunken hooligans" behind the attacks would not dare do it without alcohol. He said they were also fuelled by sectarianism.

He explained that most of the trouble is linked to all-night drinking in the village.

The 72-year-old has made a complaint to the Police Ombudsman describing how the attacks in the middle of the night were causing him and his wife anxiety.

"It's the most recent in a long list of attacks on my home, car and outhouses," he said.

"As far as I am concerned it is naked sectarianism fuelled by alcohol.

"At the weekends people are drinking all night and then with Dutch courage, these republicans or whatever they call themselves have a go at my property. I think it's an absolute and utter disgrace. I firmly believe the main problem is the all-night consumption of alcohol."

Mr Brush – a former part-time UDR soldier – survived an IRA assassination attempt in 1981.

The man responsible – ex-Sinn Fein activist Gerry McGeough – was not convicted until last year.

Mr Brush added that he felt there was an attempt to intimidate him out of Ballygawley, but was adamant that they would not succeed.

He has lived in the Tyrone village for more than 44 years.

Yesterday scores of people on Twitter lent their support to Mr Brush's plight using the hashtag #Istandwithsammybrush.

Alliance justice spokesman Stewart Dickson has called for the attacks to stop.

"I am sickened by those who continue to target Sammy," he said.

"Nobody should be subjected to such levels of sustained intimidation and violence.

"The perpetrators of these attacks on Sammy Brush must be brought to justice before the courts, so I would urge anybody with any information about these crimes to contact the police."

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