Mayor blasts second petrol bomb attack

An attack on the house at Killyglen Road on April 22. Pic by  Press Eye.
An attack on the house at Killyglen Road on April 22. Pic by Press Eye.

The mayor of Mid and East Antrim has slammed a petrol bomb attack at a house in Larne which has been targeted for a second time.

Cllr Paul Reid says these attacks must stop immediately.

Police at the scene in April.

Police at the scene in April.

He stated: “This totally reckless attack is to be condemned by all right-thinking people.

Several petrol bombs were thrown at the property causing scorch damage to a front room at around 1.00 am on Monday. No-one was in the house at the time.

The mayor said: “Those responsible showed a complete disregard for the lives of people living in the area.

“This senseless attack could easily have resulted in very serious consequences and it is imperative the perpetrators are brought to justice.

“This community utterly rejects attacks of this nature and they must cease immediately.

“The police investigation is at an early stage and I urge anybody with any information to contact the PSNI on 101 or the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555111.”

The property at Killyglen Road in the Craigyhill estate was torched in April when a car was driven into the front of the semi-detached dwelling and set alight.

A man has appeared in court in connection with this incident.

Eleven tit-for-tat attacks have occurred since Easter which have seen a spate of arson attacks on cars and homes across Larne.

Ulster Unionist MLA John Stewart said: “The police must be given 100 per cent support from the entire community.

“Myself and Roy Beggs MLA, together with Larne Ulster Unionist Councillors Maureen Morrow, Mark McKinty and Andy Wilson have had a series of discussions with the PSNI in recent times. Superintendent Darrin Jones has been left in no doubt that we support the strongest possible police response to the continuing criminality in the Larne area.

“Dealing with these problems is something which needs the support and co-operation of the entire community and I know the PSNI will be launching a major initiative in the next few weeks.”

Mr. Stewart added: “Of course all political parties should be unequivocal in their condemnation of these attacks. Unfortunately, Oliver McMullan, the former Sinn Fein MLA, has a political agenda which clouds everything he does and says. He is also no longer an elected representative, so would be ineligible for the forum of elected representatives which he is so keen to see established.

“If he is going to continue to issue statements and if the press are going to continue to quote him, then why has he been so silent on other recent local stories, such as the conviction of a republican bomb maker or the exposure of a large scale fuel laundering and tax evasion scam.

“The Ulster Unionist Party are crystal clear in our condemnation of criminality from whatever source it comes from. We will continue to support the police in the difficult task they have and expect to see action taken to put the drug dealers, the extortionists, the arsonists, the fuel launderers and all the criminal gangsters out of business and into prison, which is where they belong.”

Sinn Féin’s Oliver McMullan has called for the introduction of a PSNI specialist resource group to be set up to tackle the criminal activity in East Antrim.

Mr. McMullan said: “Last night saw yet another attack on the community of Larne when a car was burnt out. This attack comes on the back of the petrol bombing of a house on Sunday night.

“We have seen in the past that specialist resource groups have been sent into areas to deal with other crimes such as car crime and they have proved successful.

“It is now time the PSNI responded to the calls by the community to deal with the criminal activity which is being carried out by loyalist paramilitaries in Larne.

“These groups must not be allowed to continually hold the town to ransom, they must be tackled.

“I am urging the PSNI to do more to bring this crimewave to an end.”

Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has condemned an arson attack at Ferris Avenue in Larne on Tuesday morning (August 29) and called for anyone with information to come forward to police.

Mr. Beggs said: “Following reports early this morning of the fire in Ferris Avenue, Larne, I am advised that it is now being treated as arson, after being extinguished by the NIFRS.

“Like the vast majority of individuals in the local community, I too would condemn those responsible for this thoughtless and reckless arson attack. It endangered the residents of the house in addition to neighbours and passers-by.

“Similarly, the petrol bomb attack at a house in Craigyhill, which is the second time the property has been targeted this year, could also have endangered neighbours. This shows a complete disregard of the dangers of fire spreading and to human life and should be condemned by all.”

Mr Beggs recently met with local PSNI officers in Larne alongside Ulster Unionist Party Leader Robin Swann MLA, John Stewart MLA and Larne Ulster Unionist councillors on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Mr Beggs, who spoke to a senior local PSNI officer on Tuesday morning about the attacks, added: “I would appeal to anyone with information that could help to identify those behind the arson and petrol bomb attack to contact the PSNI on 101 or alternatively you can share information anonymously through the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.”