Northern Ireland news

Scaffolding firm forced to leave Ardoyne after sectarian threat

The owner of DB Scaffolding posted a picture of work his staff had started outside Pairc An Ghleanna/ The Glenpark bar in Ardoyne, north Belfast.

Police are investigating a sectarian threat against a scaffolding firm which was forced to pull staff out of a job in north Belfast due to safety concerns.

The owner of a DB Scaffolding based in Carrickfergus said he was told to remove his men from a job at a licensed premises in Ardoyne on Tuesday morning.

David Brown said his company had been engaged by a contractor for work on the Pairc An Ghleanna bar on Ardoyne Avenue and had already started work when he received a call at around 10am on Tuesday informing him that his three members of staff had to leave the area immediately.

Mr Brown, who posted about the incident on Facebook, said he was told that his men needed to "get out of Dodge" as quickly as possible.

"I thought these days were over, apparently not", he said.

The Irish News understands that the contractor received an anonymous phone call threatening the scaffolding firm.

DUP North Belfast MLA William Humphrey said he has reported the threat to the local police commander.

"It is utterly appalling that anyone should be intimidated while carrying out their work", he said.

"Those responsible for making these sectarian threats will be condemned by all right-thinking people. It is important that that condemnation is clear and unequivocal from across the political spectrum.

"My office has been in touch with the company owner.

"Shortly after three of his workers commenced on site he received a phone call to say that local men had said that these workers were not welcome in Ardoyne and they had to pack up and get out immediately.

"Whilst he says that no organisation name was mentioned and no death threats were made, it was clearly an act of intimidation threatening the safety of his men and he was in no doubt that it was sectarian.

"He has worked in scaffolding in Northern Ireland for 20-years and this is the first time that he has had men intimidated off a job.

"I have forwarded his Facebook post to the PSNI who have confirmed that they are investigating this incident", he added.

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