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Belfast granny pleads for feud to end after family flee fireball

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 17/04/2015

A grandmother has pleaded for an end to a family feud after her home was targeted in an arson attack.

Bridget Mongan, her daughter and three young grandchildren narrowly escaped injury when an accelerant was poured through her letterbox and set alight on Wednesday night.

Her neighbour used buckets of water to put out the blaze as she urged her daughter to get her children - twins aged four and a child of six - through the back door to safety.​

Mrs Mongan, who is from a Traveller background, claims she is being targeted because of her family connection to the men who murdered her son-in-law, John Mongan.

Mr Mongan was hacked to death in a frenzied machete and axe attack at his west Belfast home in February 2008.

"I don't know why they are still torturing me," said the 61-year-old west Belfast mother-of-11.

"I just want to live here in peace, for whatever years I have left, with my family and my grandchildren as they are all close by.

"They're everything to me, I just want some peace."

Mrs Mongan told the Belfast Telegraph that she had put her grandchildren to bed at her St Agnes Place home just before the attack happened around 10.30pm.

"I had kissed them goodnight and blessed them then I saw this big whoosh of fire and smoke at the front door out the window.

"I screamed to my daughter to get the children out the back door while my neighbour helped to put out the fire with buckets of water."

While Mrs Mongan's home was not badly damaged in the attack, she is in despair over the attacks that she and her family have suffered since the murder.

She spoke with sadness of the loss of her son-in-law John in the horrific murder, during which her pregnant daughter Julia witnessed her husband being attacked.

"John was a good man, a good husband and father, why would I want anything to happen to him?" said Mrs Mongan. "Why would I want my daughter to be without a husband and my grandchildren without a father?"

Mrs Mongan, whose maiden name is Stokes, said that she believed her husband Paddy took his own life two years ago over the mental anguish of the trouble which followed the murder.

"I don't know why I'm being targeted, it's not like I'm going to do anything to anyone," she added.

The grandmother of 33 children said that she would return to her home but hoped that the feud would not be carried on to her children and grandchildren.

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