Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

MLA condemns sectarian violence

West Belfast SDLP MLA Alex Attwood described the attack in Suffolk as 'appalling'

There has been widespread condemnation following a sectarian attack on a house and a number of cars in west Belfast.

A living-room window and four cars were damaged at about 10pm on Friday in the Ringford Park area of loyalist Suffolk - in what police have described as a hate crime.

They believe up to 100 youths had been in the area following disturbances at a house party in the nearby nationalist Brooke Drive.

It is understood the party got out of control and spilled on to the street, where there were scuffles between youths at about 9.30pm.

West Belfast SDLP MLA Alex Attwood described the attack in Suffolk as "appalling".

He said it has been utterly rejected by the people of the area, who have been left shocked.

"There are great people all over the Suffolk, Lenadoon, Brooke areas," Mr Attwood said. "Its community representatives are widely acknowledged as being some of the very best leaders in good relations, not least with the challenges and history of an 'interface'.

"That is the real character of local people - not the actions of the very few last night."

He said those involved should face the full rigours of the law.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Matt Garrett also condemned those responsible, describing them as "a drunken mob" on a "rampage". He said it was a disgraceful attack and motivated by sectarianism, suggesting a lot of those involved may not have been from the surrounding area.

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