Contractors withdrawn from Rathcoole following threats

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) has confirmed that a number of contractors have left Rathcoole after threats were made.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 2:39 pm

It is understood graffiti targeting the contractors was painted in the Rosslea Way area of the estate earlier this week.

In a statement today (Wednesday), a spokesperson for the Housing Executive said: “We can confirm that contractors have had to withdraw tenants services, including health and safety work, from a number of sites in Rathcoole following threats to staff and graffiti targeting contractors in the area.

“The safety of our staff and contractors is paramount, and we utterly condemn this behaviour. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

Graffiti at a Housing Executive work site in the Rathcoole area. (Picture by Peter Morrison/PressEye)

Police have launched an appeal for information following the criminal damage at the construction site.

Inspector Bryan said: “We received a report on Tuesday morning (November 23) that graffiti had been daubed on the site hoarding at some stage overnight.

“Enquiries are ongoing, and I am appealing to anyone with information to contact us on 101, quoting reference 266 of 23/11/21.”

Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Glengormley SDLP Cllr Noreen McClelland has condemned the threats to the contractors.

Cllr McClelland said: “I would like to wholeheartedly condemn those responsible for threats to Housing Executive contractors in Rathcoole. There is no place for this intimidation anywhere in our society. These workers were just doing their job.

“The unacceptable threats do not represent the people of Rathcoole or the wider area and will no doubt be deeply distressing and shocking to local residents. I would urge anyone who has any information on those responsible to come forward and assist the PSNI with their enquiries.”

Contractors started preparatory work last month ahead of next year’s demolition of one of the estate’s iconic multi-storeys.

The NIHE outlined the proposed timetable for the removal of the Newtownabbey estate’s Monkscoole House after the tender invitation process went live in February.

The Department for Communities approved the housing authority’s business case recommending the tumbling of the vacant high-rise unit in January 2020.

NIHE also proposes to demolish the adjacent Abbotscoole House.

In February, the Newtownabbey Times reported that the appearance of graffiti opposing the planned removal of one of Rathcoole’s iconic tower blocks was under police investigation. For more on this, read here

--

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.