Irish Republican News · November 8, 2013
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Sectarian attacks force family out after four generations


A Catholic family in Garvagh, County Derry, was the target of a terrifying sectarian arson attack on Monday.

Two family cars were set ablaze outside the home on upper Main Street just after midnight, destroying the cars and causing extensive smoke and water damage to the property

The PSNI described the attack as a hate crime. It was the second time in two years that his family has been targeted by arsonists, and Martin Bradley said this week he had to face moving out.

“I went to bed around 11 and it was my daughter who came after 12 shouting ‘Daddy, daddy, the cars are on fire’,” Mr Bradley said.

“She said she heard a bang and saw a flash. My daughter is only 19 and suffers from a form of arthritis.”

The County Derry man blamed loyalist paramilitaries for the attack. He said he did not know of any other reason for his family being singled out other than that they were Catholic.

“My father, my grandfather and his father have all lived in this house. I have more Protestant friends than Catholic and I live a quiet life.

“Most of the people of Garvagh, 99 per cent, there’s nothing wrong with them but there’s this one per cent causing the problem. I’m sick to the back teeth, totally gutted.”

The victim said both he and his family were heartened by many messages of support, particularly from the Protestant community. But he said the attack had been terrifying, particularly for his daughter who had not experienced such an attack before.

“We are trying to find somewhere, maybe a few miles outside the town, somewhere we will feel safe. We’ve lived here for four generations.”

Local SDLP representative John Dallat said he would try to raise the issue with the British-Irish Secretariat in Belfast.

“This family and all the others under siege have the legitimate right to ask why they have to continue running the gauntlet of sectarianism and bigotry of a tiny number of people who are making life a living hell for innocent people who ask for nothing more than to live in peace,” he said.

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