Cars destroyed amid 'loyalist feud'

Published Monday, 18 August 2014
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Two cars belonging to a community worker's family have been destroyed in an arson attack in north Belfast amid growing tensions in the area.

A Renault Scenic car and a Peugeot 107, both black, were set on fire after 3am on Monday on the Limestone Road.

The PSNI said the fires were started deliberately.

They belonged to community worker and mother-of-three Leanne Marshall and her student daughter Shelley.

Leanne said that she woke up in the early hours of the morning after hearing loud bangs.

"When I looked out the two cars had been set on fire," she said, adding that she didn't know why she had been targeted.

She described those responsible as "a disgrace," saying they had "no place in society."

Her daughter Shelley added: "I'm just shocked and appalled that it's happened, to be honest. It's just uncalled for.

"I was angry this morning but I think now I am just ashamed. This is the community I've lived in, grew up in."

It is believed the attacks are the result of a loyalist feud in the area.

Earlier this month, a pipe bomb was thrown at a parked car in the nearby Duncairn Gardens sparking a security alert.

Army bomb disposal experts, who attended the scene, declared the device to be viable. Police enquiries into this incident are ongoing.

John Howcroft, of the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG) in north Belfast, denied that there is a loyalist feud in the area, but said the tensions were between communities and criminal elements.

He told UTV that Ms Marshall had been involved in community work in the Tigers Bay area for several years.

He said that she has "put so much into the community."

"She's involved in some of the most progressive work in the moving of this community forward including the opening of the Alexandra Park peace gate..."

He continued: "This is nothing to do with a feud. This is criminal elements opposed to the positive work that's going on within communities - that's why people like this are being targeted."

He said the perpetrators are "not loyalists and bring shame on the very word loyalist with attacks like these."

Investigating officers have appealed for information and can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101.

© UTV News
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12 Comments
Michael in Belfast wrote (71 days ago):
Dont hear much from McCausland and Dodds on this matter, too busy on holiday guys, or is it just when it is loyalist paramilitary violence its ok. Well it must be as you two seem to love spending time with them on a platform at Twaddell. So much for the DUP being against terrorists, seems its only republican terrorists they have a problem with !!
Taxi Paul in Belfast wrote (72 days ago):
@gerard in belfast Well said
patto69 in Belfast wrote (73 days ago):
Can the politicians who regularly share platforms with these people care to explain if this is part of their graduated response? I wont hold my breath as unionist politicians have run with the hare and hunted with the hounds for decades.
paul in Belfast wrote (73 days ago):
Incidents like this just go to prove that paramilitary godfathers, who claim to be of the community and for the community , don't give a toss about REAL work that is being done to give people a better life. They publicly endorse community workers, but God help you if you threaten to expose the gangsterism and drugs.
gerard in belfast wrote (73 days ago):
the police and the courts are to blame they know who they and some who ends up in court the judge lets them off are they get a small fine and with all the money they make out off drugs its easy for them to pay it like i said in my last comment the other 1s are working for the police as we see every other week in the papers they are free to do as they like even kill people its funny how they can get dissidents but cant get these hoods are criminals who the dogs in the street know there names and are free to do as they like why have a police force who cant do the job are wont do the job and for the courts they need to do there job aswell put them all away for a long time and give the good people of both sides a chance of peace before they turn to the dissidents to clean up the areas as we have seen before when the police could not do it we had 40 years of troubles for it to end up with both sides getting paid off and jobs for the boys to end it do we have to go through that again i hope not
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