Rathcoole attacks: Pensioner’s desperate plea to be left in peace

Rathcoole pensioner Isobel Nixon pictured outside her Nendrum Gardens home, which has been boarded up after the house was attacked last week. INNT 31-511CON
Rathcoole pensioner Isobel Nixon pictured outside her Nendrum Gardens home, which has been boarded up after the house was attacked last week. INNT 31-511CON

A Rathcoole pensioner who is battling cancer says her home has come under attack because she rents a room to a same-sex couple.

Isobel Nixon, who also suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, says she is living in fear after her Nendrum Gardens home was attacked last week.

The living room window and front door of the property were both smashed during the terrifying incident, which happened shortly before midnight on Monday, July 20.

Mrs Nixon, who also claims to have been physically and verbally abused in the street since permitting the two women to move into her house a month ago, has made a desperate plea for people to let her and her tenants live in peace.

Speaking to the Times this week, the 66-year-old widow said: “I’m terrified. I haven’t slept since it happened.

“The only reason I’m being attacked is because I’m renting a room to them. There is no other reason.

“I have lived here 45 years and never had any trouble. I brought my three kids up here, buried my husband four years ago and I’ve never had any trouble with anybody.

“We are now taking turns sitting up at nights because the police phoned us the other day to say there has been an anonymous call to say there is going to be more trouble. I’m absolutely terrified. I can’t even sit in the living room now because I’m petrified about what might happen.”

Mrs Nixon’s tenants, who didn’t want to be named, also claim the house is being attacked because they are gay.

They say it isn’t the first time they have been targeted because of their sexuality and have had to leave previous addresses in other areas of Northern Ireland.

The tenants, who have close ties to the Rathcoole area, say their relationship is “at breaking point” due to the stress of what’s going on.

The women aged 23 and 31 also claim to have been verbally and physically abused in the street over the past few weeks.

They have offered to move out of the house, but Mrs Nixon wants them to stay.

“Why should they leave? They have done nobody any harm. They keep themselves to themselves. They are entitled to a life too,” she continued.

“I have never had two nicer girls living with me. Why can’t people just leave them alone?

“My family are disgusted by what’s going on. My son in Lurgan wants me to go and stay with him for a while, but I’m not going to go and leave the two girls here alone.

“People need to wise up and just leave us alone and get on with their own lives. Let the two girls be happy,” Mrs Nixon added.

Police have confirmed that they are investigating the attack at Mrs Nixon’s home and have appealed for anyone with information about the incident to come forward.