A County Antrim couple have been issued death threats after loyalists targeted them because they have “Catholic sounding names”. Graffiti was daubed outside their home with their names telling them they have “24 hours to get out”.
The mother of the woman who lives at the rented property said the couple lived in a “very Protestant area” but they have names that could be perceived as Catholic. “They are not Catholic,” she added.
The names of the couple and the area they live have not been revealed, as they fear for their safety.
“They have been left very vulnerable,” she told BBC radio. “The police came out and said there was really nothing they could do. They advised them to go outside and scrub the paint off themselves, saying there was no one else that could do that for them. They didn’t offer them any extra protection whatsoever.”
“This is night time, they have had a threat, they don’t know where it has come from and they are telling them to stand outside and scrub out paint, totally unprotected.”
She said the couple were given a booklet with information on self-protection and asked if they had anywhere else to go for the night. She said they have been too scared to remove the graffiti from outside their home.
“It seems to me that we are in a lawless society, you can do whatever you like,” she said. “They are trying to get on with their lives, but it seems they can’t do so and that there is no one to protect them. I would see this as a hate crime. I think it deserves more recognition than it is getting.”