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Romanian family's car torched in Belfast race hate attack

By Allan Preston

Published 27/01/2016

Daniel Cirpaci looks at the damage cause to his car after it was set alight in the Ebor Street area of Belfast on Tuesday Morning, The Fire service attended the scene.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Daniel Cirpaci looks at the damage cause to his car after it was set alight in the Ebor Street area of Belfast on Tuesday Morning, The Fire service attended the scene. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
The damaged car after it was set alight in the Ebor Street area of Belfast on Tuesday Morning, The Fire service attended the scene. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

A Romanian family living in south Belfast have said they no longer feel safe in their home after their car was burnt out in a racist attack.

The car was extensively damaged and police are treating the arson attack as a hate crime.

The attack which happened at around 2am on Tuesday follows other reports of racist intimidation in the area in recent weeks.

Daniel Cirpaci (25) is originally from Romania and lives with his wife and two children on Ebor Street, beside Tates Avenue.

He told the Belfast Telegraph he came home from work to find his car in flames.

"I'm working last night, coming home about three in the morning," he said. "About 1.40am somebody put my car on fire. I don't know why this happened."

"I've lived (on this street) for two months with no problems. Here everybody is OK, this is the first problem."

Mr Cirpaci said this is the first incident of intimidation he has had to deal with after two years of living in Northern Ireland. He added his parents had been due to visit for a holiday but he no longer wants to stay in the area as he fears for his family's safety.

This is the second attack on Ebor Street in two weeks after a Chinese woman and her baby fled the area after a failed petrol bomb attack on their home on January 12.

In a similar incident on January 11, two ground floor windows and one upstairs window were smashed at a house a few streets away on Monarch Parade. Graffiti reading 'Scum out locals only' was daubed on the door.

An Ebor Street resident, Charmaine, said she was aware of other racist attacks.

"I don't know where the people who are doing it are coming from," she said. "It shouldn't be happening. I have a five-year-old son, he has friends of different religions and colours."

South Belfast MLA Emma Pengelly condemned the attack.

"Racist attacks are a blight on our city and have no place anywhere in our society," she said.

Belfast Telegraph

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