Arson attack on business condemned
Political and community representatives have hit out at those behind a '˜deliberate ignition' fire at a newly opened Indian restaurant in Glengormley.
It is understood the Mama Masala restaurant was targeted shortly after midnight.
The eatery, which is on the site of the former Royal Thai Chinese Restaurant, officially opened to the public yesterday.
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) responded to a call at 12:06 am, only hours after it had closed following its official opening.
Two appliances from Glengormley Fire Station tackled the blaze. A NIFRS spokesperson said: “Firefighters dealt with a fire in a takeaway. Deliberate ignition. Incident was dealt with at 1:17am.”
Condemning those responsible, Alliance representative, Cllr John Blair said: “This is devastating for those who have started and invested in this new restaurant, as well as the staff employed there.
“There is thankfully no pattern for such events in the area. That does not take away from the seriousness of this instance.
“I would appeal to anyone who lives in the area or who might have been in the area at approximately midnight last night, who saw anything that they feel might be possibly relevant to contact the PSNI on 101 or Crimestoppers.”
Hitting out at those behind the attack, UUP representative, Cllr John Scott said: “This is absolutely disgraceful.
“The owner is trying to earn a living and has spent a lot of money to get this restaurant open and it is a disgrace that it has been attacked, especially on its first night.
“This is not what the people of Glengormley want. If anyone has any information about this, I would urge them to contact the police or they can call me.”
Kathy Wolff of the Community Relations Forum has known the owner of the restaurant for a number of years.
Speaking from the restaurant this morning, she said: “It is a shame that someone opens a new business and it is attacked like this on the very first night of it being open to the general public.
“They have worked so hard to bring a business to the area and it is disgraceful that this has happened.”
“If anyone knows anything, please contact the PSNI.”
Commenting on the Mama Masala Glengormley Facebook page, a spokesperson for the restaurant said: “Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, Mama Masala, our Glengormley site will be closed until further notice.
“For all booking enquiries, please direct message to us and we will try respond as soon as possible.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”
The spokesperson added: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and well wishes!
“We can assure you this obstacle will not deter us nor hold us back and you will see our doors open in the near future. We will keep you updated via our social media pages.”