FAMILY DREAM DESTROYED BY 'HATE-FILLED MORONS'
An arson attack which destroyed a Catholic family's dream home in
County Derry was carried out by "hate-filled morons," Sinn Fein
Martin McGuinness said on Tuesday.
He condemned those who set alight a house being built near Desertmartin
in an early morning sectarian attack.
Mr McGuinness branded those behind this and other recent attacks on the
house "sectarian bigots".
The Mid Ulster MP, in whose constituency the attack occurred, said:
"The dreams of a family looking forward to moving into a new home
shattered by the actions of hate-filled morons.
"These individuals or organisation although unrepresentative of
unionism emanates from that community and this puts special
responsibility on the public representatives of unionism to speak out
in the strongest terms against them.
It was the sixth attack since construction began several years ago.
The house, on the Tobermore Road in Desertmartin, was gutted by fire
around 2.30am on Tuesday 12 August. The family had hoped to move into
their new home within weeks, but will now have to wait for it to be
partly demolished and rebuilt.
In previous sectarian attacks the building was also badly damaged by
fire, the Catholic father of five, who does not wish to identified,
said. A total of 42 window panes have been broken in other attacks and
on the last two occasions gas cylinders and tyres were used to set fire
to the premises.
"But that's nothing like the damage today," he said. "It
must have been
petrol bombed. My home is simply destroyed, burnt down."
Mr McGuinness said there was clearly a very active unionist
paramilitary element at work in the area.
There had also been several attacks aimed at intimidating Catholics
from Magherafelt, Maghera and other areas in the constituency which
unionist leaders needed to condemn.
"I would call on the political leadership of unionism in this area
make it clear to the paramilitaries operating from within their
community that sectarian attacks on Catholics must stop," the former
Six-County Education Minister continued.
"This family must be allowed to move into their home without fear
further threat or attack."
Belfast homes petrol bombed
On Sunday, nationalist homes in Cupar Street, just off the Springfield
Road in West Belfast, came under loyalist petrol bomb attack for the
second consecutive night.
On Saturday night, 9 August, up to ten devices had been thrown across
the 'peaceline' at houses in Cupar Street from the loyalist Mayo Link.
On Sunday night, a further 12 petrol bomb were thrown into the back
gardens of the nationalist homes.
No damage was reported on either occasion.
Falls Sinn Fein councillor Tom Hartley said it was only through good
fortune that nobody was seriously injured during the sectarian attack.
"So far this summer has been relatively quiet and I can only hope
sustained attacks are not an attempt to restart tensions along the
interface," he said. "I have been in discussions with local
leaders and I hope dialogue can take place to ensure that we do not
have a repeat of the last two nights' attacks."