Belfast Telegraph

Community project targeted in arson

A church community project in north Belfast has been targeted by arsonists.

Damage was caused to a hall which is used every day by the 174 Trust on the Antrim Road. The trust helps create jobs and provides recreation facilities.

Community Relations Council chief executive Duncan Morrow said it had supported the organisation for many years.

"The facilities and events made available by the 174 Trust through the community hall benefit all sections of the community in an area which has seen much hardship and violence. An attack on the hall is destructive of a resource which truly belongs to everyone," he said.

"It is particularly disappointing that this attack should happen only one day after the launch of the North Belfast Respect Programme which promises to lift the area above sectarian division and encourage cross-community partnership through a wide range of events and activities.

"We hope that local community representatives will rally round the 174 Trust to show that those responsible for this attack are acting without any community support."

The centre's director, the Reverend Bill Shaw, said flammable liquid was set alight.

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds said he was appalled by the attack.

"I share in the sense of disgust and disbelief at this attack," he said.

The 174 Trust is a non-denominational Christian organisation which facilitates a variety of community projects in north Belfast.


From Belfast Telegraph