Catholic teenager beaten by loyalist gang in Coleraine

Coleraine, UK - A Catholic teenager has been attacked and beaten up by a loyalist gang in Coleraine, police have said.

The attack on the 17-year-old was being treated as a sectarian hate crime, a police spokeswoman confirmed.

The victim was assaulted and verbally abused during the day in a carpark in the Co Londonderry town's Long Commons.

A group of five young men, described as wearing hoodies, carried out the attack at around noon on Monday and called the victim “a Fenian bastard”.

Police appealed for anyone who witnessed the attack to contact them.

The teenager was not understood to have suffered serious life-threatening injuries.

Community tensions have continued to run high in Coleraine in the wake of the murder by a loyalist mob of Catholic community worker Kevin McDaid in May.

Sinn Fein councillor Billy Leonard said he was not surprised by the incident.

“It's not just restricted to the Twelfth period and the marching season in general, but obviously it always comes with more intensity at this time of year,” he said.