23 September 2005

Mum used hose on petrol bomb

The Irish News Online

By Marie Louise McCrory

A Catholic mother-of-four last night told how she used a garden hose to extinguish flames caused by a petrol bomb attack on her Newtownabbey home.

Anna Delaney has appealed to those behind the attack to leave her and her family alone.

Ms Delaney was in the kitchen of her Longlands Road home at around 6.30pm on Wednesday when she saw flames at the back of her home.

Three of her children – a 17-year-old girl, who is four months pregnant, and two boys aged 13 and eight – were at home at the time of the attack.

“I ran out and had a look to see if there was anyone about,” she said.

“I used the hose to put the fire out. I was shaking like a leaf. I was worried for all the kids.”

Ms Delaney said her daughter was “a bit shaken” by the attack.

“I tried to keep them [the children] calm. The police came out,” she said.

“I am just relieved that everyone is ok.”

Ms Delaney said she believed loyalists were responsible for the attack.

“I am scared of them doing it again,” she said.

“I just want them to leave us alone. I have never done anybody any harm.”

Councillor Billy Webb, of the Newtownabbey Ratepayers Association, and chair of the Newtownabbey District Policing Partnership, condemned the attack.

“I call on those carrying out such attacks to cease before someone is killed,” he said.

Sinn Fein councillor Briege Meehan described the attack as “completely unacceptable”.

SDLP councillor Noreen McClelland described the attack as “attempted murder”.

“It needs to be said loudly and clearly that a petrol bomb can kill, especially where children are involved,” she said.

“I appeal to anyone who saw this incident or can throw any light on it to contact the police before there is another attack with a more serious outcome.”

DUP MP Nigel Dodds branded such attacks “deplorable”.

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