Attack ‘has ruined everything’ - victim

The 25 year-old woman living in the house which was attacked in Dungiven on Monday night says she is returning to her native Scotland.

“I was meant to start a new job next week, but I think I will go back to Glasgow. There’s no point me staying here all the time looking over my shoulder, thinking ‘is it going to happen again?’” she told the ‘Journal’ on Tuesday.

The woman said she was out in a local bar in Dungiven on Monday night with her cousins visiting from Scotland when the attack happened.

“My mum, who is over with my cousins, was in the house herself and phoned at about a quarter to ten in a bit of a panic and said somebody had shot the window, so we rushed round and, sure enough, there was glass everywhere and the car was shot up. I don’t really understand why. The police were asking me - is it anti social behaviour, is it drugs? I know in my heart, I know myself, there has not been anything that would merit something like that. It’s not like I’ve had parties in the house all the time. I’ve had friends in from time to time, but not like every week. If I knew why it would be a wee bit easier; then I would know if I was doing something wrong I would stop it.”

The Glasgow woman said she was due to resume her university studies locally in September, but the attack has “ruined everything”.

“I have so many good memories and met so many lovely people,” she said. “I am not staying in this town. I’m going back home once I get all my stuff sorted and sell my furniture. It happened and it doesn’t matter if it was the wrong house; just to know that can happen. I’ll go home and find another course and at least I won’t be worried all the time.”

The woman said luckily no one was hurt.

“If it was a mistake, if they think they have legitimate reasons, if I knew what the reasons were, then maybe I could explain. Maybe they’ve heard a story and it’s not true. If they think it’s anti-social behaviour or drugs I should have had the chance to say ‘no that’s not true’. I don’t understand why anyone would react like that rather than trying to speak to someone.”

The woman said her mother was left shaken by the attack, but was coping well.

“She’s having to be strong for me, and everyone has been really good. The community has been great,” she said, adding: “The police said it could be one of four things - anti social behaviour, drugs, paramilitaries or mistaken identity. Out of the four it is mistaken identity because nothing else fits.”

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