Nazi group rears its ugly head in NI

According to a report in the Belfast Telegraph, it looks like Combat 18 has a presence in Garvagh (Co. Derry/Londonderry).

As NI society is slowing becoming more diverse in terms of ethnicity and culture is it inevitable that this will also be reflected in a rise of racist violence and attitudes and if so how can this bigotry be stemmed?Nazi posters spread fear in a quiet village
Garvagh targeted by fascist group

By Linda McKee
16 August 2005

A sinister right-wing group is targeting homes and property in a Co Londonderry village with a poster campaign, it was last night warned.

SDLP Assembly member John Dallat said residents of Garvagh had complained that notices announcing the return of the ultra-right wing Combat 18 had been pasted around the village.

The East Londonderry MLA said Combat 18 was linked to loyalist elements in the Coleraine and Bushmills areas.

“Catholic homes and businesses have been specifically targeted, but these sinister stickers have also appeared on traffic islands and are similar to others which were erected in areas of Coleraine last year where black people are known to work,” he said.

“Recently, a nurse from the Philippines fled the village of Garvagh after her flat was broken into and money stolen.”

Mr Dallat said he had alerted the PSNI to what was a sinister form of racism and intimidation.

“While I don’t regard those involved as having any support among the intelligent population I do believe the Hate Crime laws should be applied and those involved prosecuted,” he said.

“We need to be very mindful that there is a sizeable population of people from many parts of the world now living and working in this area.

“While there isn’t a pattern of racist attacks it is important that no opportunities are afforded to anyone who would want to reintroduce Combat 18 or any other corrupt elements bent on causing division and distrust.”

A Police spokesman said they took such incidents extremely seriously, and added: “The PSNI would appeal to anyone who is aware of such hate literature or knows of anyone distributing such literature to contact their local police station immediately.”