Northern Ireland news

Republican activist's car among three vehicles damaged in arson attack

Three cars destroyed by fire in the Glencolin area of west Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

THE car of a republican community activist was among three vehicles destroyed in an overnight arson attack in west Belfast.

Sean Simpson said he was alerted to the attack in the early hours of Monday.

Mr Simpson, who would be well known in the area, said he has no idea why he or his neighbours would have been targeted in such a way.

"It's clear whoever it was went out of their way to attack our cars, but apart from the fact it was obviously planned I'm at a loss to understand the motive.

"I haven't been made aware of any threats against either myself or any of my neighbours. This is usually a very quiet place to live.

"Forensic officers arrived at the scene, but at this stage there's not much left of the cars to examine."

Witnesses say one man, sporting a hi-vis jacket, got out of a car and using an accelerant, set fire to the vehicles at around 4.30am on Monday before driving off.

The fire service was called to the scene and helped douse the flames but all three cars were destroyed.

Sinn Féin councillor Arder Carson condemned the attack saying "those involved need to be held to account".

Mr Carson asked anyone with information to bring it to the PSNI.

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Northern Ireland news