Unionist mayor defiant over attacks
A borough mayor whose home has been targeted by sectarian vandals for the third time in a year has vowed not to be intimidated.
Democratic Unionist councillor George Duddy, who is mayor of Coleraine, said there have now been 20 such attacks in his neighbourhood since last April against homes perceived to be occupied by unionists.
Mr Duddy's home was one of three flying the Union flag that were targeted on Monday night. The PSNI said its officers were investigating a link between the incidents and were treating all three as hate crimes.
Graffiti referring to the flag was painted on the DUP councillor's property on the Drumaquill Road.
In the other two incidents a corrosive liquid was poured over a car parked in nearby Granary Drive, causing substantial damage to the paintwork, and a Union flag was removed from the front of a house in the Quilly Road area.
Graffiti was also spray painted on the front porch of that house.
Mr Duddy, who is a prominent Orangeman, issued a defiant message to the perpetrators.
"Whatever it is they are trying to achieve, they won't be successful," he said.
"It is a direct attempt to not only intimidate me but also the unionist community living in that area."
East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell said the "campaign of hate" needed to end.
"It is intolerable that both George Duddy and the property of his neighbours have yet again been attacked," he said.
"Mr Duddy is a well-respected public representative and is presently serving as the Mayor of Coleraine. For the first citizen of the Borough to be attacked is an attack upon the whole community in Coleraine."
Mr Campbell added: "It appears that the same group of people responsible for previous attacks on George's home and property are responsible for this latest incident. They should stop this campaign of hate and allow the Mayor and his neighbours to live in peace. An increased police presence is required to stop these attacks."