A Lisburn community is once again torn apart by sectarian violence.

Lisburn is a traditionally prosperous town with mixed community where Catholics are outnumbered by Protestants at a rate of four to one. The local MP is Jim Molyneaux of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the local council is run by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

The northern scenario is bleak these days. The soldier's gun has been part of the background since 1969, a familiar everyday sight for the people of the North.

In 1920, Catholics in Lisburn were forced to flee their homes and every single Catholic household in Lisburn was burnt out. Violence has once again returned to the housing estates of Lisburn. On the night of the banned loyalist parade in Portadown on Easter Monday, Beechlawn Estate saw its first attack. At the loyalist Old Warren Estate, bonfires can now be seen in preparation for 12 July. In this atmosphere of the constant threat of violence, it is no surprise that isolated Catholic households are fearful and many have already moved out.

Old Warren is claustrophobic for all but committed loyalists.

For many Lisburn residents, their only crime is being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On Easter Tuesday, the area exploded into the most fearful violence Lisburn had seen since the mid-1970s. Buses and cars were hi-jacked and burnt. The shopping centre at Knockmore Estate was destroyed. A crowd attacked 14 Hertford Crescent, home of the Lewsley family. Jim Lewsley recalls how he was at work when he heard on the radio news of an attack on the estate. He later received a call to say his house was on fire.

When I came home, the fire brigade and the police were all around my house and my house was just gutted.

His wife and three children were in the house when a brick was thrown through the window followed shortly by a petrol bomb. The family had lived at Knockmore for almost 23 years and this was the first time that they or their neighbours had any direct experience of violence. Following the attack on his home, people from both religious sides in the community rallied to support the family.

Since that night, other houses have also been burnt out and the fear of further attacks in the community persists. While many have decided to leave the area, the Lewsey family are determined to stay and to return to their home.

This episode of 'Today Tonight’ was broadcast on 20 May 1986. The reporter is Pat Butler.