Belfast Telegraph

Hillsborough rocked by racist attack on Chinese couple

By Rebecca Black

Deep shock has been expressed over the first racist attack in Hillsborough in living memory.

A racist slogan was daubed on the front door of a house in Dunbeg Park around 10pm on Thursday.

White paint was also thrown at the property, which is believed to be the home of a couple of Chinese descent.

The PSNI has confirmed that it is treating the incident as a hate crime.

A 59-year-old man was arrested following the attack on suspicion of criminal damage, vehicle interference and intent to cause criminal damage.

Yesterday afternoon the man was released on police bail pending further inquiries.

While the couple did not wish to speak to the media yesterday, the man said they did not intend to leave the area.

Work was under way to remove the paint damage yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots visited the home that was attacked to express his sympathies.

He said that the local community was rallying round the couple and had been leaving in messages of support and calling to offer their best wishes.

The DUP Health Minister said the couple had lived in the area for some time and were well-respected members of the community.

"There is a couple who live in this home, they are a local couple who provide a good service to the local community, and my understanding is that they are well thought of in the neighbourhood," he said.

"I have been speaking to neighbours who have left letters in to express their sympathy with the couple.

"So that is the sort of community that it is, they are neighbours that get on with people, and this would appear to be a one-off incident."

Ulster Unionist councillor Alex Redpath told the Belfast Telegraph that this was the first racist attack he could recall in Hillsborough.

He described the neighbourhood where the incident took place as very quiet, with many elderly residents, and expressed his disgust at what happened.

"I am shocked and appalled that this sort of attack could have occurred in Hillsborough," he said.

"Hillsborough is a welcoming and open community and many local people have expressed their sadness about what took place.

"I want to make it very clear that I condemn this racist attack utterly and I will support any minority community who are subject to this sort of intimidation.

"Northern Ireland is a pluralist society and residents from all ethnic backgrounds should feel welcome."

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