Sectarian attack forces family out

A MAGHERAFELT couple have been forced to flee their home following a sectarian attack.

Eddie and Pauline Clynch say they fear if they don’t go they and their five children will be burned out during Eleventh Night celebrations on the Leckagh housing estate.

The couple’s home and car were targeted by loyalist rioters’ during a disturbance at the bonfire last year.

Mr Clynch said they decided then to stay on and “ignore things” but their main concern now is for the safety of their five children, aged from three years to 15.

He told the MAIL the most recent attack on their property happened in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.

“It’s beyond a joke,” he said. “The children were walking around getting glass from the smashed window into their feet and hands.”

Eddie, a Protestant from England and Pauline, a Catholic, have been living in Leckagh for 13 years having bought their property.

He said the family started to get verbal abuse about five years ago and stones have regularly been thrown at the house and car. The children had their toys smashed and plants were uprooted during the night and thrown onto the street.

“We would have been away last year only the Government would not pay us what we paid for the house,” he explained.

Mr Clynch said they have paid for most of the damage to the property and are now “fed up.”

“The government offered us £85 for last year’s damage to the car which I ended up paying £300 to get fixed,” he said.

Condemning the attack SDLP Councillor Jim Campbell described it as “thuggery and gangsterism.”

“All decent people will be affronted by this action, including the majority of people living in Leckagh,” he said.

The family returned this week to clear out their possessions and are staying with relatives until they can find suitable accommodation.