Fourth attack on Rathcoole centre

Fourth attack on Rathcoole centre

A community centre in Newtownabbey has been attacked in what police are describing as a hate crime.

Sectarian graffiti was painted on walls of The Dunanney Centre, in the Rathmullan Drive area of Rathcoole overnight.It was discovered at 8.45am on Thursday morning.It is not the first time the centre has been attackedA petrol bombing on Saturday, 12 July caused considerable damage, while at Easter, the boiler house was destroyed.Reacting Pat Hutchinson, centre manager, said: "It beggars belief that this is the fourth time in so many months that the centre has been attacked."A month ago, it was firebombed and this morning, when I drove in - the sectarian graffiti on the side of the building."It is very frightening and very personal to a lot of staff and clients who use our centre."She said that the incidents are sending out the wrong message that the centre is not a safe environment.Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kinahan said that he is outraged at the senseless, mindless attack.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)"The centre is a hub for the community and houses one of the busiest Citizens' Advice offices in Northern Ireland. It is also a base for the really effective Bryson Future Skills programme which equips young people for meaningful employment.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)"These persistent attacks mean that my constituents are continually disadvantaged."At a time when we are slowly crawling out of the dark days of recession - who imagines that it is a good idea to target a key community resource?"Alliance Councillor Billy Webb said: "I am absolutely horrified at yet another attack on the Dunanney Centre. This is a direct attack on the whole community and those behind it must be brought to justice."The Dunanney centre is a vital resource for everyone living in the Rathcoole area and they are fed up with being held to ransom by the faceless few who decide to strike out against them."The work to repair damage caused by the last attack has not yet been finished. Those behind this on-going campaign of intimidation must be stopped. There is no place for thuggish behaviour in our society and I would urge anyone with information to contact the PSNI as soon as possible."Mayor of Newtownabbey Alderman Thomas Hogg said: "The Council fully supports the work of the Dunanney Centre and the invaluable resource it has become to the local community . "Many vital services such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, employability programmes for young people and older people's services are provided through this well respected and much needed facility. "Generating income through rental and room hire, is essential to keep the centre functioning. "The Council condemns the recent attacks on such a valued asset to the community and asks that they come to an end," the DUP politician said.Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.


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