Sinn Fein Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy has blamed dissident republicans for an arson attack at his home in Co Armagh.
A car sitting outside the minister’s home in Camlough was burnt out early yesterday morning.
The minister, who is also Newry and Armagh MP, was at home at the time with his wife and their teenage son and daughter.
Mr Murphy said scorch damage was caused to the windows. The house was also vandalised with paint.
He said: “This was a cowardly attack on my family home. While there was damage to two cars and a risk that the house would be set alight, thankfully no one was injured.
“I want to pay tribute to the response of the Fire Service who ensured that the house did not catch fire. I will not be deflected from representing the needs of local people or from representing Sinn Fein.”
A car belonging to Mr Murphy’s parents-in-law, who live next door, was also burnt out.
SDLP councillor John Feehan, an uncle of Mr Murphy’s wife, condemned the attack on Mr Murphy and his property belonging to his brother.
“My brother's car was set on fire and the roof of his home damaged in this mindless act.
“While we are thankful that nobody was hurt in this incident, it has nonetheless left my brother Carl and his wife Anne very shaken. I would urge the people of Newry and the Fews area to hand over any information about this incident to the police so that those who carry out these awful attacks can be brought to justice.”
Mr Feehan said it was “no coincidence” that the attack coincided with voting in the European elections.
“It’s an attack on democracy,” he added.
Mr Murphy said: “Sinn Fein members have been attacked and killed in the past by those opposed to progress and the rights of nationalists and republicans.
“They will not succeed in undermining the progress we are making or the rights of any Irish citizen living in this part of Ireland.”