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Attack on young bandsman in Portadown branded ‘sectarian’

An attack on a young bandsman in Portadown at the weekend has been branded ‘sectarian’ by a DUP councillor.

Police are appealing for information following a report of an assault which occurred in the Woodhouse Street area of Portadown on Sunday 19th June.

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.

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“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.”

DUP Cllr Darryn Causby who sits on Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council condemned the assault.

He said: “On Saturday night/ early hours of Sunday morning a young man was brutally assaulted in Portadown town centre between 2 and 2.15am.

“The victim suffered a head injury as a result of the attack and was treated at Craigavon Hospital where he received three staples.

“This young man was assaulted by a number of individuals at the top of Woodhouse Street who, prior to and during the attack shouted pro New IRA/INLA slogans and made clear that their motive was purely sectarian.

“I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and offer my full support to the young man who is recovering from his injuries.

“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.”

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