A local councillor has condemned an assault which left a man in his 20s hospitalised with head injuries, as the PSNI confirmed the Portadown incident is being treated as a “sectarian motivated hate crime”.
The victim was attacked by a group of men between 1.30am and 2am on Sunday morning in the Woodhouse Street area of the town.
Police said the victim had to receive hospital treatment and it is understood he required a number of stitches.
DUP councillor Darryn Causby claimed those who attacked the victim “shouted pro New IRA/INLA slogans”.
Mr Causby also said the victim was wearing a band uniform while in the town centre, following a parade that had taken place on Saturday evening.
“I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and offer my full support to the young man who is recovering from his injuries,” the councillor said.
“I understand that the police are now investigating this matter and I appeal to anyone who may have witnessed this attack to please come forward and provide a statement to the police to ensure those responsible are caught.
“Some have asked about why we haven’t issued a statement sooner, to that my response is very simple.
“My concern has been the welfare of a young man brutally assaulted for wearing a band uniform in our town centre so I have taken time to speak with the victim and his family and have only issued this statement after speaking with him first.
“My colleagues and I will be requesting a meeting with the Police on this matter and other issues to do with concerns regarding town centre safety and the policing of parades.”
The PSNI confirmed they are now investigating the assault.
Inspector Adam Ruston said: “We received a report on Monday 20th June, that a man in his 20s was verbally abused and assaulted by a number of males sometime between 1:30am and 2am in the early hours of Sunday.
“The man was taken to hospital for injuries to his head.
“Enquiries are continuing and at this stage, the incident is being treated as a sectarian motivated hate crime.
“We would appeal to anyone with any information to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 772 20/06/22.
“You can also submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/.
"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”