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sick comments Loyalist trolls mock Celtic fan shot in the head by UDA thugs as fears of more violence looms

Loyalist target blasted Hoops supporter with cruel online images as NIRA graffiti sparks fears of violence

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Miracle escape: Paul Fleming following surgery after he was shot in the head – he was millimetres from being killed

Miracle escape: Paul Fleming following surgery after he was shot in the head – he was millimetres from being killed

Paul Fleming with his mum Wendy outside Celtic Park in Glasgow – both are season ticket holders

Paul Fleming with his mum Wendy outside Celtic Park in Glasgow – both are season ticket holders

Republican graffiti in Coleraine this week

Republican graffiti in Coleraine this week

Republican graffiti is painted over in Coleraine this week

Republican graffiti is painted over in Coleraine this week

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Miracle escape: Paul Fleming following surgery after he was shot in the head – he was millimetres from being killed

Loyalist trolls have mocked a Celtic fan shot in the head last week by the UDA as fears mount of further sectarian violence in Coleraine.

Images of Paul Fleming’s horrific head injuries were posted around social media this week along with sick comments.

The distressing images show the aftermath of the point-blank shotgun attack and his family say they can’t understand how loyalists got their hands on the images.

The 36-year-old Catholic is very lucky to be alive.

Sick images posted online show a picture of movie monster Frankenstein dressed in a Celtic shirt and derogatory comments about his appearance after being blasted in the head.

Meanwhile, fears are mounting of further sectarian attacks in Coleraine after graffiti supporting the New IRA appeared close to the scene of the murder bid.

Our pictures show the graffiti which appeared on Tuesday and another picture, taken on Thursday, shows the disturbing messages being painted over.

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Republican graffiti in Coleraine this week

Republican graffiti in Coleraine this week

Republican graffiti in Coleraine this week

The Sunday World has learned a private contractor was tasked by the council to paint over the green painted messages as it was deemed to be too unsafe for any council employee to take on the task.

The wording of the graffiti warned ‘Loyalist Death Squads’ to ‘Beware’ and appeared near the Heights area of the mainly loyalist town.

That’s a clear reference to a shocking sectarian attack on 36-year-old Paul Fleming who was gunned down when a North Antrim UDA team shot him in the head 12 days ago.

His family told us last week the only motive they could think of for the attack was the fact he supports Glasgow Celtic.

Mr Fleming underwent extensive surgery last weekend on a shotgun wound which he was told would have killed him had it been a quarter of a millimetre either side.

More surgery took place on Tuesday at the Ulster Hospital in Belfast and Mr Fleming was allowed to go home on Thursday.

His family say he’s “very badly shaken” and is not ready to talk about the shocking incident.

Images of his horrific head injuries circulated on social media on Thursday and were posted on Twitter by a Celtic club.

They posted: “This is the result of a shotgun attack by loyalist bigots on a Celtic fan in Coleraine. Their ‘justification’? Different football club, different religion.”

In a further development a Protestant man had his window put in with a brick in the Heights area of the town.

The Sunday World understands republicans attacked the property of the man who has been targeted before.

They also smashed the windows of his car as our pictures show.

There are fears Coleraine is being dragged into a sectarian war and could see another man murdered like community worker Kevin McDaid.

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Murdered: Community worker Kevin McDaid was attacked outside his home in May 2009

Murdered: Community worker Kevin McDaid was attacked outside his home in May 2009

Murdered: Community worker Kevin McDaid was attacked outside his home in May 2009

The 49-year-old died after he was attacked outside his home in May 2009 in what a judge described as an ugly sectarian incident.

The brutal attack was carried out by a group of loyalists connected to the UDA and 13 people were convicted as a result of the investigation.

“Coleraine is going to explode again, that’s the fear,” said a source in the town.

“There’s been a lot of intimidation from loyalists and republicans have been intimidating Protestants in the Heights area for a while now.

“Several Protestants have been told to leave the area. And then you have the UDA shooting a Celtic fan in the head – that’s just made things ten times worse.

“The Protestant who had his windows put in on Thursday actually chased the attackers up the street. They are known republicans who have featured in the Sunday World before for causing trouble.

“It’s really starting to get very scary and everyone’s sure someone is going to be killed if people don’t take a step back and stop the madness – on both sides.”

On Tuesday the PSNI put out an appeal on social media asking for information about the New IRA graffiti which appeared on the Laurel Hill Road.

Last week the mother of Paul Fleming was unequivocal about why her son had been targeted by loyalists and pointed the finger squarely at the UDA. “The UDA tried to kill my son because he supports Celtic,” Wendy told us. “That’s the only reason we can think of.

“That’s all he’s into Celtic and taking a drink. Loyalists have targeted him before so this isn’t the first time. He used to live with me and the house was attacked with a petrol bomb and the windows were put in.

“Celtic is his life and he got himself into rows on Facebook but that’s all it was. I fear they’ll be back to kill my Paul. I only have two kids and people always slag Paul because he’s a mammy’s boy.

“This is about pure sectarianism, nothing else. We are supposed to be in a time of peace. I couldn’t believe it when I heard he had been shot.”

  • steven.moore@sundayworld.com


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