Attackers “pretending to fight for Ireland”

One of the cars damaged in overnight attacks at the homes of relatives of police officers in Derry. Windows were smashed and accelerant poured over them. DER0115MC014
One of the cars damaged in overnight attacks at the homes of relatives of police officers in Derry. Windows were smashed and accelerant poured over them. DER0115MC014
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SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood has accused those behind attacks outside the homes of a Derry PSNI officer’s relatives of pretending to fight for Ireland.

The Foyle representative made his comments as police were today trying to track down those behind attempted arson attacks on cars believed to belong to relatives of a Derry policeman.

The family of the PSNI officer have declined to speak about the attacks- the third in the past six years.

The alarm was raised last night at around 9.30pm, with police receiving a report that two windows of a parked car had been smashed in and a flammable liquid poured over the vehicle at Drumleck Drive.

In a separate incident in Kylemore Park, accelerant was also poured over a car.

There have previously been pipe bomb attacks on vehicles belonging to the parents and sister of a serving Catholic PSNI officer from Derry in the same areas.

The attacks back in September 2009, which were the work of the Real IRA, were roundly condemned at the time.

The family home in Shantallow was again targeted in April 2012.

Mr Eastwood said: “This is yet another cowardly attack on vulnerable members of our community.

“These people pretend to be fighting for Ireland when in fact all they’re doing is fighting against the people in our community.”

Earlier today, Sinn Féin Councillor for the area Tony Hassan also condemned the attacks.

Colr. Hassan said: “This attack was wrong and shouldn’t have happened.

The vast majority of the people of the Shantallow area want to move our community forward without this type of incident happening.

“This family should be allowed to live in peace and quiet.”

A PSNI spokesman confirmed today that they were investigating reports of criminal damage of two vehicles at the two separate addresses in Derry last night.

Detective Inspector David McQuade said: “I would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed the incidents, saw any suspicious activity in the area or has any information to contact Detectives at Strand Road on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”