Condemnation of sectarian attack on Manor Street homes
THERE has been condemnation after three homes were attacked in the Manor Street area of north Belfast in what police have described as a "sectarian hate crime".
The homes, close to the interface with the Oldpark Road, had windows broken and were splashed with paint.
Inspector Robert McMurran said just after midnight it was reported that "two youths had hurled an object at the window of a house, before throwing paint over it and running off towards the Oldpark Road. The window was shattered in the attack".
“A second report was made to us around 12.15am in which two males, wearing grey tops, threw a paint bomb at the front window of a property. The window was not broken in the incident.
“And at around 12.30am, a third report was made that front living room window had been smashed at a house in the area. No-one was at home at the time.
“While no-one was hurt in any of the incidents, the residents were left shocked by what happened.
"We are treating all three as sectarian hate crimes."
One resident said he initially slept through the attack but "police woke me up to tell me that the window was damaged".
"I've lived here since 2014 and this is the first time anything like this has happened," he said.
North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey said: "The PSNI have confirmed that they are treating it as a sectarian hate crime against this interface Protestant community.
"For several years interface areas in north Belfast have been relatively quiet. Those republicans who carried out this attack are seeking to end that peace.
"I would appeal for calm and for condemnation of this attack from across the political spectrum".
PUP councillor Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston said families including children had been left shaken and upset.
"There is something fundamentally wrong when 20 years post-agreement we have young people attacking people and/or properties because of their nationality, religion or community background," she said.
"We need a multifaceted review of our approach to tackling sectarianism in Northern Ireland.”