A North Belfast man set upon by loyalists in Glengormley at the weekend warned a life could be lost in the area due to rising sectarian tensions.
The Whitewell man, who asked not to be named, was on a night out with friends at a bar in the area on Sunday night when a group of loyalists drinking nearby began shouting over abuse. The argument then spread to outside the bar where the four friends were involved in an altercation with the loyalists.
After the PSNI arrived tensions were calmed and the group started walking to find a taxi while the loyalists left on foot. However as the Whitewell men made their way home they were set upon by the same group of loyalists who had doubled back in a car to find the group.
Another fight ensued, with one of the local man getting kicked in the head before this fight was also broken up.
The man said the loyalists seemed intent on causing serious injury to any Catholic they came across.
“They were out to cause trouble and harm somebody,” he said. “We have heard that there were more car loads of them out looking for us, it just sounded like they were out to do damage.
“It shouldn’t stop people going out in Glengormley but I think with the way things are going up there a Catholic is going to get seriously hurt.”
A PSNI spokeswoman appealed for information on the incident.
“At approximately 11.40pm, reports were received that a 53 year old man had been assaulted, receiving injuries to his head. These injuries are not believed to be life threatening,” she said.
“A 29 year old man and a 37 year old man were arrested, both on suspicion of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm but were later released unconditionally.
“Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Newtownabbey Police Station on 0845 600 8000. Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”