SO BRUTAL; 314 people are beaten in last 12 months Loyalists to blame for twice as many attacks.

Byline: JILLY BEATTIEPARAMILITARIES carried out 314 brutal punishment attacks last year.

And loyalists were responsible for almost twice as many attacks as
republicans with 89 beatings and 116 shootings.

Terror gangs working in nationalist areas were blamed for 53
assaults and 56 shootings.

The figures are a drop from 2001 when 332 attacks were carried out,
but last year saw two of the most vicious and shocking attacks handed
out in the last 10 years.

Harry McCartan, a 23-year-old father of one, was crucified and
Raymond Kelly, a student, was partially skinned alive and had his hands
and spine smashed with sledgehammers.

McCartan, a Catholic, was punished for joyriding and was beaten
with baseball bats spiked with nails before his hands were impaled on a

The nails were then hammered back at an angle so they could not be
easily pulled out.

Speaking from his hospital bed during his recovery, McCartan said:
"When I woke up, I saw all the blood running out of my eyes and my
mouth. My hands and my knees were aching. I just couldn't believe
what had happened to me.

"I cannot understand why anyone would do this to another

The blocks of wood later cut from the fence by firefighters were
still attached to McCartan's hands days after the attack.

And his body was so badly beaten, swollen and discoloured, his
horrified father Henry could not be sure it was his son. In the end, he
managed to identify him from a tattoo.

Months earlier the IRA warned McCarthan that he was 'under
curfew' and was not to leave his parents' house in Poleglass
in West Belfast between 6pm and 8am.

But it was not the Provos who crucified him, it was loyalists on
the Seymour Hill estate in Lisburn.

Raymond Kelly, 20, from Crossmaglen in South Armagh, was studying
engineering in September when he fell foul of republican

Kelly had his body smashed with sledgehammers by the IRA,
afterwards he recalled hearing one of the attackers shout: 'Roll
him over and get his spine'. Before the attack Kelly was ambushed
in his car by 10 masked men - Brutal Punishment - who claimed to the IRA.

The gang had blocked the road with a lorry and crashed a car into
the rear of the young man's vehicle.

They smashed the driver's door with a lump hammer and Kelly
was knocked unconscious with a blow to the head.

Assailants then bound his hands, threw him into a van and drove him
to the yard of nearby Ballynaclosha school.

There they systematically shattered all the bones in his lower legs
and ankles, both arms, hands and wrists with sledgehammers, iron bars
and nail-studded sticks.

They tried to amputate his left hand by repeatedly bringing a club
down on it and took most of the skin off the back of his head and body
with the nail-studded sticks. They then left him to bleed to death.

Kelly needed 14 pints of blood and numerous operations.

A security source said last night: "The huge numbers of
so-called punishment attacks show that Northern Ireland has still some
way to go before it can be called normal."