‘Bully boys behind campaign of hatred in Bawnmore’

BIGOTED bully boys are behind a campaign of hatred and intimidation aimed at forcing people out of their homes in Bawnmore, it has been claimed.

Police officers were due to meet with Fold Housing Association and local community representatives yesterday (Wednesday) to discuss ongoing attacks on properties in Bawnmore Drive and the appearance of sinister graffiti in the area.

The meeting was set up after a petrol bomb attack at a house in the new Fold Housing development on Friday (July 20), and the appearance of further threatening graffiti near the entrance to the social housing project.

The latest graffiti was daubed on a wall at the development overnight on Tuesday (July 24) and was removed later that morning. Threats painted on the wall included ‘Fold Scum’, ‘Travellers Out’ and ‘Not Local, Stay Out.’

Macedon councillor Thomas Hogg, who made a public plea in last week’s Times for the removal of sinister slogans painted near the entrance to Bawnmore Drive earlier this month, said he was “outraged at the latest display of menacing and xenophobic graffiti.”

The DUP representative claimed that those responsible were intent on a campaign of hatred in the area.

“It is absolutely appalling that bigoted thugs have again plastered this development with threatening and menacing graffiti. This is a social housing development, paid for by public money and homes must be offered out based on objective need. It is scandalous that bully boys are dictating, through their criminal behaviour, on who can or cannot move into the area.

“I have raised this matter with local police, who I would commend for ensuring the swift removal of the graffiti. Someone locally must know who is responsible for this campaign of hatred and they should turn in the culprits to the PSNI.”

Alliance councillor Billy Webb added: “This further incident of graffiti in Bawnmore Drive is to be condemned and I would appeal for local residents to join with me in demanding it stop. The provision of housing has to be on need and the points system used ensures a fairness in allocation.”

A spokesman for Fold Housing Association said they have been working closely with the community to provide high quality social housing in the Bawnmore area.

“As a registered social landlord regulated by the Department for Social Development, Fold allocates all its homes to those in highest housing need in accordance with the Housing Selection Scheme. We will continue to work with the community and all elected representatives to ensure that this new development successfully achieves the objectives of meeting housing need and developing sustainable communities,” he told the Times.

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed that officers were due to meet with representatives of Fold Housing Association on Wednesday afternoon in an effort to resolve issues regarding ongoing damage to property.

Police have appealed for anyone with information about the person/s responsible for the graffiti to contact investigating officers at Newtownabbey Station.