Belfast Telegraph

Family homes attacked in Belfast interface area

By Brett Campbell

Residents of an interface area in north Belfast are living in fear of more sectarian hate attacks after youths bombarded their homes with paint bombs.

Three Protestant families on Manor Street were targeted by youths in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Glass bottles, paint and rocks were hurled at their properties between 12.05 and 12.35am.

A living room window was smashed in one of the houses and a window was shattered in another.

Young children were present in one of the homes which came under attack by two males wearing grey hooded tops. The culprits were seen running off towards the Oldpark Road.

One of the badly shaken victims described the attack as "terrifying" but insisted she will not be forced from her home.

"It was awful," said the married mother-of-two. "I have lived in this area for 30 years and never experienced anything like this before.

"I've lived in this house for 18 years and I have no intention of moving, absolutely not." The home owner, who has cleaned up most of the damage at her own expense, now hopes to put the incident behind her.

"It's happened, now I just need to get past it," she said.

But all three families fear a repeat of what police are treating as sectarian hate crimes.

PUP councillor Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston condemned the attacks which she said are becoming too common throughout the province and threaten to undermine decades of hard work to foster good community relations.

Speaking at the scene of the attack yesterday afternoon, she called for a "multifaceted review" of how sectarianism is tackled in Northern Ireland.

"There is something fundamentally wrong when, 20 years post-Agreement, we have peace babies attacking people and in their homes because of their nationality, religion or creed," she said.

"Honey-coated words of condemnation simply won't cut it any longer, it is time for action not reaction".

North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey also condemned the "utterly appalling and depraved" attack which he blamed on republicans seeking to undo years of peace.

"I would appeal for calm and for condemnation of this attack from across the political spectrum," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

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