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Lough Neagh patrol boat destroyed by masked men

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The police are believed to be studying CCTV footage showing two men wearing balaclavas setting fire to the boat on Saturday. (Dave Thompson/PA)

The police are believed to be studying CCTV footage showing two men wearing balaclavas setting fire to the boat on Saturday. (Dave Thompson/PA)

The police are believed to be studying CCTV footage showing two men wearing balaclavas setting fire to the boat on Saturday. (Dave Thompson/PA)

A new patrol boat on Lough Neagh to help enforce fishing regulations has been destroyed in an arson attack.

It has been reported that masked men destroyed the £60,000 patrol boat, by cutting it from its moorings at a quay in Moortown in Co Tyrone before setting it alight at around 12.35am on Saturday.

The Lough Neagh Fishermen's Co-operative had only taken delivery of the £60,000 vessel last week. But now the remains of the vessel are under water at the marina.

Pat Close from the fishermen's co-operative told the BBC that they did not know why it had been targeted.

Local fisherman Martin Devlin added: "The whole fishing industry is shocked, angry."

The co-op owns the rights to Lough Neagh's lucrative commercial eel and scale fishery and manages licensing and some enforcement.

The police are believed to be studying CCTV footage showing two men wearing balaclavas setting fire to the boat on Saturday.

Belfast Telegraph