Belfast Telegraph

Lifting of threats against Catholic families urged by Northern Ireland leaders

Six Northern Ireland party leaders have called for the lifting of threats against Catholic families in Belfast.

Loyalist paramilitaries have been blamed for intimidation at a mixed housing development.

The DUP, Sinn Fein, the SDLP, the UUP, the Alliance Party and the Green Party united in condemnation of sectarian, intolerance and threatened violence.

A statement from the political leaders said: "Four families have been forced to leave their homes in South Belfast. This is wrong. Any threat to these families should be lifted immediately.

"There is also an onus on the PSNI and the statutory agencies to provide immediate and appropriate support to the affected families, including re-housing those affected if they feel unable to remain in their homes."

Cantrell Close, off the Ravenhill Road in the south of the city, was supposed to be a flagship cross-community development as part of the Stormont Executive's Together Building United Communities programme.

The political statement added: "This situation runs absolutely contrary to the ethos under which the Cantrell Close development was created.

"Everyone has the right to live in a society without fear of intimidation and free from sectarianism.

"Those behind this threat offer nothing but hatred and division and should be condemned by all political, community and statutory leaders."

Assembly members have blamed the UVF.

The development was hit with another controversy in the summer when loyalist paramilitary flags were erected on lamp-posts.

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