Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Pipe-bomb just latest attack by loyalist thugs on grandmother's home

Linda Martin at her home after the pipe-bomb attack
Linda Martin at her home after the pipe-bomb attack

A grandmother whose home was pipe-bombed has blamed loyalist paramilitaries for waging a campaign of terror against her.

Linda Martin said the attack was the latest in a catalogue of incidents over the past eight years.

Ms Martin, from Holywood, Co Down, said she was so afraid of further attacks that her 20-month-old grandchild is unable to visit her home.

Ms Martin was in bed when the device partially exploded at around 12.30am yesterday.

At first she thought youths were letting off fireworks.

"My boyfriend opened the front door and said a device had been thrown at the front door and to ring the police," said Ms Martin, who has lived in the area for the past 10 years.

"The next thing was the bomb squad was out and all the neighbours were on the street."

Residents were evacuated from houses at Church Green until around 4am.

Ms Martin said she believed paramilitary factions were to blame after a dispute with another family several years ago escalated.

She said men previously burst into her home and beat her partner with hammers, as well as damaging four cars. Windows of her house have also been broken and paint thrown.

As a result, she fitted security lighting and CCTV.

Ms Martin described those responsible as "cowardly scum" and vowed she wouldn't be driven from the town.

"If you have a problem come to the door, don't do things in the middle of the night," she said.

"This place is full of young children. Somebody is going to get seriously hurt. You should be allowed to live in peace without bully-boys coming to your door."

DUP MLA Alex Easton said somebody could have been killed by the bomb, which was thrown at the front door.

"This was a reckless and indiscriminate act," he said. "This could easily be a murder scene. Those involved clearly had no regard for humanity or the hurt they could have caused.

"Church Green is a quiet area with a lot of children living and playing in the vicinity. This incident could have easily hurt or killed an innocent child."

Police carried out door-to-door enquiries yesterday and forensic officers removed items for investigation.

Background

Linda Martin heard a loud bang outside her home at Church Green in Holywood early yesterday. An Army bomb disposal team recovered the device and it was removed for forensic examination. Residents were evacuated from their homes for several hours after the attack.

Detectives appealed for anybody with information to contact them. Ms Martin said she believed loyalist paramilitaries were responsible. She had to install CCTV and security lighting after a series of attacks on her property in recent years.

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