Catholic workmen have been forced out of a housing estate in Northern Ireland following threats from loyalist paramilitaries, it was claimed tonight.
Contractors carrying out repairs in the Glebe area of Ballymoney, Co Antrim, refused to go back on site after warnings from the Ulster Defence Association, Sinn Fein said.
Philip McGuigan, the republican party’s North Antrim Assemblyman, claimed terrorists who planted a hoax bomb on the estate last week had now intensified their intimidation campaign.
He said: “It’s a very worrying and sinister development. This is quite obviously sectarian in motive and the work of the UDA.
“But the people who are ultimately going to lose out are those living in the Glebe estate because the Housing Executive have told me it could be months before they get another contractor on site.”
Even though a number of Protestant workers are employed by the contractor, who did not want to be named, Mr McGuigan said the threat extended to them also.
He added: “The contractor has taken them all off the job because he’s scared for his workforce’s safety and so he won’t be going back.”