Pipe-bomb ‘meant to intimidate Catholics’
A pipe-bomb at new housing development was an attempt to intimidate prospective Catholic buyers, it has been claimed.
The Army was called to the security alert at Rashee Road in Ballyclare in the early hours of Friday morning.
A viable pipe-bomb was removed and the security alert ended at 9am yesterday. No homes were evacuated during the alert.
There have been claims that the incident was an attempt by loyalists to dissuade Catholics from moving into the area.
Houses on the upmarket new development range in price from £130,000 for a two-bedroom to upwards of £300,000 for a four-bedroom detached house.
A source told the Belfast Telegraph: “They are trying to put people off moving into this area.”
The claims, however, have been disputed by SDLP MLA for South Antrim, Thomas Burns.
Mr Burns said: “Community relations in the town have never been as good and I don’t believe the rumour.
“There are very few Catholics in Ballyclare, but the ones that are here get on well with everyone.
“The new development has been welcomed by the whole community.”
DUP MLA for the area Paul Girvan condemned the incident.
He said: “This is extremely concerning. It was irresponsible and I would completely condemn any such attack.”
South Antrim MLA Danny Kinahan said: “Such actions are utter madness and will result in someone being seriously injured or even killed.
“We have seen a similar incident in this area recently and have also had a spate of attacks in parts Antrim town.
“I know full well from talking to local people that the community that there is absolutely no support for this type of activity.”