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DUP MLA 'disgusted' after car torched

By John Mulgrew

Published 04/07/2011

The DUP's Ian McCrea has said he is shocked and disgusted after his car was torched outside his home yesterday morning.

The Mid Ulster MLA said he found the burnt-out shell of his car at around 4am on Sunday, only yards from a gas cylinder and his front door.

He said: "The people who carried out this action had little or no regard for human life.

"Whilst no one was injured, this situation could have been a lot different had the gas cylinder exploded or the house caught fire.

"We could be dealing with several fatalities. Nothing will remove the terror of this event from the minds of my three young children who had to be lifted from their beds and taken to safety."

First Minister Peter Robinson said those behind the attack had no regard for Mr McCrea's life or his family. "Regardless of our political views, no one has the right to engage in such criminal and hate-filled behaviour."

Deputy First Minister and fellow Mid Ulster MLA Martin McGuinness said there was no justification for the attack.

"Those who carried out this attack are attempting to heighten tensions as we reach the height of the marching season and this action must be condemned," he said.

Mr McCrea urged anyone considering retaliation to "not become involved in such actions".

"I am a politician and expect to be the target of verbal criticism but targeting my family home demonstrates the hatred within some elements," he said.

Policing Board chairman Brian Rea also condemned the attack on his board colleague.

He said: "Attacking someone's property in the middle of the night is a cowardly and reckless act. This type of behaviour is unacceptable."

Mr McCrea sparked outrage from both sides of the community last month when he used Twitter to express his hopes that no GAA county team from his own constituency would win titles this summer.

Police said they are treating the fire as suspected arson and are appealing for information.

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