SDLP’s Dallat condemns ‘lowest form of cowardice’

A Catholic family in Garvagh, have been targeted in a sectarian arson attack, according to local SDLP MLA John Dallat.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday a teenage girl in the family home at upper Main Street witnessed a flash and loud bang outside.

A NI Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said a fire engine was tasked to the scene of two cars deliberately set alight.

Mr Dallat, who is a friend of the family, said he had no doubt the incident was sectarian.

He said it was the second time they have been targeted.

“All political representatives must send out a clear message that those involved in this type of sectarian bigotry represents no-one and they need to be caught before they murder someone,” the SDLP representative said.

“This is the lowest form of cowardice anyone could be involved in and will be rejected by the local community.

“There’s absolutely no reason for it, this just an ordinary family working hard to make ends meet, not involved in anything of any description.”

He added: “It’s just mind-boggling that we still have people who are going round prepared to commit arson to hurt other people.”

Mr Dallat added that the house could have lit due to the close proximity of the car and called for anyone with information to come forward.

He said: “I want these people caught before they do actually murder someone.”

Police confirmed that at approximately 12.25am they received a report that a car had been set on fire in the Main Street area and another in the Millview Gardens area.

Police are treating the incidents as hate crimes and would ask anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information to contact them at Coleraine CID on 0845 600 8000. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

GUIDANCE: For your guidance - these arsons are being treated as hate crime.