Sectarian attacks in Garvagh

I drove through Garvagh this morning on the way home and saw boarded up windows in the Imperial Hotel. This seems to have been another example of a sectarian crime; this time one perpetrated against Catholic owned businesses in the town. Yet again we are left condemning yet another example of criminality: this time loyalist criminality. Bill Leonard stated “Garvagh has had this negative sectarian image down through the years.” In actual fact most of the small towns and villages in the area have had significant problems with sectarianism for a long time and community relations in the area around Garvagh / Kilrea / Rasharkin have never been particularly good. However, the situation seems to have become worse recently and a spiral of attacks seems to be in danger of occurring with the criminals on each side trying to explain their actions as some sort of retaliation for preceding attacks on members of “their own” community.