By Ray O’Hanlon
Six members of the U.S. House of Representatives have urged the new Northern Ireland Secretary of State to take immediate action to stop violent attacks attacks on Catholic homes in Northern Ireland.
The letter, addressed to Dr. John Reid, states that given the recent spate of violence, he had assumed responsibility for Northern Ireland and the safety of its citizens at a very critical time.
"We are very disturbed by the widespread violence in several towns and villages across Northern Ireland," the letter said.
It was signed by Rep. James Walsh, chairman of the Friends of Ireland, and the four co-chairs of the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee for Irish Affairs, Reps. Ben Gilman, Peter King, Richard Neal and Joe Crowley. The letter was also signed by Rep. Chris Smith, the vice chairman of the House International Relations Committee.
The letter added that sectarian intimidation and attacks inspired by religious hatred seemed to be spreading and threatened to destroy the peace process.
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Loyalists have been escalating a campaign of pipe bomb attacks against Catholic homes in a number of areas in recent weeks.
" Many Catholics are fearing for their lives and see no end in sight," the letter said.