Belfast Telegraph

Because we are Catholic: Resident speaks out after UVF force him and pregnant wife to leave home

Resident speaks out after police pass UVF threat to him

By Jonathan Bell

One of the Belfast residents forced to flee his home because of threats from the UVF has said there was no other reason for the intimidation other than his religion.

He said he had been enjoying life in the Cantrell Close area for the past year and did not have a problem with flags or unionist culture being celebrated.

And then on Tuesday night, police called to his door to say a threat had been made against his life and that of his children and pregnant wife.

"We were told were under threat and to leave the premises or further action would be taken," he said.

While the man said police did not name the UVF, the Sinn Fein MLA Mairtin O Mulleoir blamed the terrorist organisation.

The man spoke anonymously to William Crawley on the BBC's Talkback show on Radio Ulster.

"It's because we are Catholic, no doubt about it," he said clearly angry and frustrated.

"Things were going great, we got on with the neighbours and we've never had a problem in the past - this has just come out of nowhere.

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Four Catholic families in Belfast have left their homes having received sectarian threats, the Housing Executive has said. They live in Cantrell Close, a shared housing area off the Ravenhill Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

While the threats have been condemned, the man and his family have had to seek refuge in a friend's house leaving behind their personal possessions. He said he was "petrified" for the safety of his family.

"We are just just stunned - shocked - everything was going so well. But we are not going to give them the satisfaction of keeping on intimidating us.

Asked what he thought of Northern Ireland politicians, he added: "Everyone of them is a joke, they shouldn't be in the job. They have done nothing for us.

"I thought all this was done with 15 years ago but it is still going on."

He said his wife was expecting another child in January: "Hopefully we have somewhere sorted before Christmas."

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