Belfast Telegraph

Sectarian bigots torch Catholic man's cars

BY MICHELLE SMYTH

A father-of-two who has had two cars burnt out for the second time has begged those responsible to leave his family alone.

Martin Bradley, a Catholic living in the predominantly unionist Co village of Garvagh in Co Derry had both his cars burnt out in the early hours of yesterday morning in what police have described as a "hate crime".

It is the second time he has been attacked – on Easter Sunday two years ago another two of his vehicles were set alight.

Mr Bradley said he was alerted shortly after midnight to what was happening by his 19-year-old daughter who heard an explosion outside their family home.

"My youngest daughter woke me up shouting 'daddy, daddy, the car is on fire'.

"I went outside and saw that both vehicles were burning.

"We haven't done anything wrong and we just want to be left alone. We are being targeted because we are Catholics. I am the fourth generation of Bradleys to have lived here and I am seriously considering selling up."

East Londonderry MLA John Dallat, who is a friend of the family, described those involved as "guilty of the lowest form of cowardice".

"Another Catholic family living nearby had their windows smashed last year," he said.

DUP MLA for the area Adrian McQuillan also condemned the incident. "There has been a spate of hate crimes in the Coleraine area – 18 since the end of June. This has to stop," he said.

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