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Shop owner 'drained' by repeated attacks on west Belfast boutique

A window was broken during the latest attack on Stacey's Closet boutique in west Belfast
Marie Louise McConville

A YOUNG west Belfast businesswoman has taken to locking the front door of her clothes shop - even when it is open - after four attacks in two years.

Stacy Flynn, a mother-of-two from Poleglass, said she had been left on the verge of closing down the popular Stacy's Closet boutique as she has been left feeling "sad" and "drained" from the repeated attacks.

In the latest attack on her Glen Parade business, off Glen Road in Andersonstown, food jars filled with paint were thrown at the windows of the boutique - which sells ladieswear and accessories - breaking one window and covering at least four panes with paint.

Ms Flynn (33) only discovered the damage this week when she returned from running a marathon in Disneyland Paris in aid of an Autism support group.

The attack is believed to have taken place between Friday, September 22 and Tuesday, October 3.

She said she was "really, really gutted".

"I am just sad, it is draining, very very draining," she said.

Ms Flynn said it was the fourth time such an attack had been carried out on the shop in the past two years. Previous attacks have seen similar food jars thrown at the shop's windows, which have been broken as a result.

She spent around £500 fixing damage and installing special grills to prevent further attacks and this week, a new plastic, protective panel is to be fitted over the windows.

The 33-year-old. who is a well-known fundraiser in west Belfast, said she has no idea why she is being targeted.

"You do kind of go back over things, even back to your childhood," she said.

"I honestly don't know why anybody would want to target me personally because as far as back as I can recall, I have never done anything to hurt anybody. It could be anything."

The Poleglass mother said she has considered closing the business.

"The very first time it happened, I suffered from anxiety," she said.

"This time to be honest, I was actually thinking of giving up and closing down until I received the support from the local community. The community, even with selling, it's outstanding. I have been one of the lucky ones.

"They will not beat me no more. In a way, it has helped me with the anxiety because you know you have the support there from even strangers as well as loyal customers".

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