Cars burnt out in Creggan

Anne and Sean McMonagle's car which was destroyed in a fire outside their home in Creggan on Friday.

Anne and Sean McMonagle's car which was destroyed in a fire outside their home in Creggan on Friday.

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The owner of a car destroyed in Creggan in the early hours of Friday morning has described those responsible as “idiots and criminals”.

Community worker, Anne McMonagle, and her husband Sean, who is also a well known community worker, were woken by a neighbour shortly before 2am. Their four children, aged two, nine, 11 and 15 were all at home at the time of the fire.

Anne and Sean McMonagle's was set on fire on Friday.

Anne and Sean McMonagle's was set on fire on Friday.

“These people don’t have the bravery to come and talk to us about any issues they may have.

“My husband and I have plenty of friends who both agree and disagree with what we believe in but they have all come out to support us - the people behind this have absolutely no place in our community.”

Mrs. McMonagle added: “This is not the first time something like this has happened. My husband bought me a car for my 30th birthday a few years ago and that car was burnt out too. These people need to wise up and get a life.”

A second car was damaged by fire in the Creggan area in the early hours of Friday morning and local councillor for the area, Kevin Campbell described both incidents as “disgraceful acts”.

My husband and I have plenty of friends who both agree and disagree with what we believe in but they have all come out to support us - the people behind this have absolutely no place in our community

Anne McMonagle - Creggan community worker

“These are absolutely disgraceful acts and should not have happened.

“There is a lot of good positive work going on in the local community, no one wants to see this happening.

“The last thing any person wants to wake up to in the morning is to find that their family car has been burned overnight. In the current economic climate it is very hard to afford to keep a car on the road at the best of times and no one needs the extra expense of having to replace a car.”

Colr. Campbell continued: “Those involved in these actions have only succeeded in terrorising their own communities by inflicting inconveniences upon them.

“I would appeal to anyone with even the slightest piece of information in regards to those behind these despicable criminal acts to bring it forward straight away.”

Police at Strand Road confirmed that they are treating the fires as suspicious.

Inspector Les Craig said that shortly before 2am, the fire service turned out to Ballymagowan Park, where a Ford car was destroyed, and to Cromore Gardens where a Vauxhall car was extensively damaged.

Police are treating the incidents as linked, and are keen to hear from anyone who saw suspicious activity.