‘Gutless thugs’ target home of elderly siblings’ in Drumsurn

Damage after the fire
Damage after the fire
  • The attack has promoted a community safety drive
  • Local councillors and police will conduct a leaflet drop in the village
  • It is the second time the pensioners’ home has been targeted

A Drumsurn pensioner says she is afraid to go to sleep at night after her home was attacked by ‘gutless thugs’.

The woman, who prefers not to be named and who lives with her brother, says it is the second time in recent years their home has been targeted.

It was very frightening, and I’m scared now in case they come back. It’s a bad job when you’re scared in your own house

Drumsurn pensioner

The woman said the ordeal occurred between midnight and 3am on Monday.

“It was just after midnight when I heard all the windows of the house being banged loudly, all at the same time, so there must have been more than one person. They even went around the back and banged my brother’s window, and he isn’t well right now.

“Then a neighbour noticed smoke coming from the hedge. He was able to put it out while I phoned the police and Fire Service. By the time they arrived the hedge was set on fire again,” said the woman. “I couldn’t sleep after that.”

The woman said she and her brother have been left badly shaken by the ordeal, and she appealed to those responsible to leave them alone.

“It was very frightening, and I’m scared now in case they come back. It’s a bad job when you’re scared in your own house,” added the woman.

Sinn Féin councillor Brenda Chivers said: “It is not acceptable for something like this to happen to anyone’s property, let alone someone so vulnerable. My party colleagues have met with the PSNI to discuss the attack, and I would appeal to anyone with information regarding this incident to take it to the police. It is not the first time this has happened to this family, and this type of intimidation is a complete disgrace. I would also appeal to locals to keep an eye on vulnerable neighbours especially as we enter the summer months when this type of vandalism would be in the increase.”

Drumsurn Community Association chairperson, Michelle Friel said: “Whoever has done this has scared everyone throughout the community. There are a lot of older residents in the community, and they are scared at the minute.”

Ms Friel said she would work with the relevant agencies to ensure they receive the right support to see them through the ordeal.

“To attack at house at that time of the morning is not acceptable. They’ve been through enough and they don’t need this,” said Ms Friel adding: “It’s awful for something like this to happen in any community but, when it happens in a small community it’s even worse.”

Sinn Fein Colr. Sean McGlinchey met with the siblings on Monday afternoon.

“The lady was devastated. She was scared that whoever did this would come back. She was very upset, and she couldn’t understand why anyone would want to attack their home. She just kept saying ’why?’” said Colr. McGlinchey. “She was very traumatisesd.”

Colr. McGlinchey said as a result of the attack local councillors, including colleagues Colr. Chivers and Colr. Dermot Nicholl, will carry out a leaflet drop, accompanied by the PSNI, in the village tonight.

“It’s up to the community to look after each other and to protect people who are vulnerable. The community has to stand up to these gutless thugs. We will be conducting a leaflet drop in Drumsurn to make people aware of what’s going on in their community, and to urge them to protect each other, in particulatr their older, vulnerable neighbours.”