Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Arsonists target Slovakian family

Declan O'Loan condemned arsonists who targeted a Slovakian family in Ballymena

A Slovakian family has been targeted by arsonists in Co Antrim.

A store at the front of their house in Harryville, Ballymena, was set ablaze on Monday night. The couple inside and a baby escaped through an upper window after smelling the smoke and finding the front door on fire.

In recent days bullets were fired at the house of a Polish family living in the area.

SDLP councillor Declan O'Loan condemned the attackers.

"This was an extremely serious incident and it could easily have led to death if one family member had not detected the fire on time," he said.

"I have no doubt that the fire was deliberately started and that the motivation was racial. There are clearly persons active in Ballymena who are so consumed by racial prejudice that they are quite willing to risk lives."

Mr O'Loan said the recent incidents followed the distribution of a racist pro-British leaflet in the area.

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