Northern Ireland

Young mother-of-one flees Lurgan home following 'sectarian abuse' on her doorstep

The video footage was posted online
The video footage was posted online The video footage was posted online

A young mother subjected to "sickening and chilling" sectarian abuse at her home in Co Armagh in an incident captured on a doorbell camera, has fled the property.

The mother-of-one shared footage of Sunday's incident on social media saying she had been left "traumatised".

It is understood the 21-year-old is now staying with relatives.

It comes as a 34-year-old man was released on bail by police following his arrest in connection with the incident, which occurred after Sunday's Scottish Cup soccer defeat by Rangers to Celtic.

Police have said they are investigating reports of a hate crime in Lurgan's Ashleigh Crescent.

The incident has been widely condemned by political representatives.

In the footage, a group of men are shown approaching the woman's house with one man stating: “There’s Fenians in here”.

One attempts to remove the doorbell, but fails, before launching into more verbal abuse and demanding that the young woman come outside.

When there is no response, he repeatedly makes derogatory references to the woman’s religion while hitting and knocking the door.

The woman said on Tuesday evening that she had since left the property.

"After the police came they advised that it could be safer to leave the area and I definitely won't be back to that area ever again," she told the Belfast Live.

In a Facebook post with the video footage, the woman shared the terrifying incident saying: “Never thought I would have to do this but as people know I’m a 21-year-old single woman raising a one-and-a-half year old son on my own, living in an area that I thought I would be safe in.

“To cut a long story short, last night I put film on for me and child then around 9pm I was putting the child to bed having my last feg of the night out the back and I heard an awful racket at the door.

"These thugs were trying to put my door up my hall and my windows in round me and my baby son. I’m traumatised this was for nothing and it can’t be described as anything but sectarianism – pure hatred for me because of my religion.”

Police said a 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted criminal damage. He was later bailed to allow for further enquiries.

Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie described the incident as "absolutely appalling" and said he would be contacting police to "ask what they are doing in relation to this clearly sectarian and threatening behaviour".

DUP MP Carla Lockhart said in a social media post she had been made aware of the video and said it was "reprehensible".

She added: "This behaviour is not welcome in Lurgan or anywhere else".

The Irish News contacted the DUP over claims the MP appeared to be a Facebook "friend" of one of the men said to be involved, but received no response.

Alliance Upper Bann MLA Eoin Tennyson, said the footage was "sickening and chilling", adding: "Women ought to be safe in their homes and able to live free of harassment."

Lurgan SDLP councillor Ciaran Toman said people across Lurgan and further afield were "rightly disgusted" with the footage.

"I am heartened to have seen widespread condemnation following this incident. If we are ever to stamp out this kind of behaviour then we need politicians and community representatives to show leadership and let people know this kind of act will simply not be tolerated," he added.