Grieving mum forced from home days after son’s death

The house at the centre of an attack in the Oldpark area of north Belfast has been boarded up. Credit: UTV

An attack on the north Belfast home of a woman whose son died just days ago has been described as “shameful and depraved”.

Loyalist paramilitaries have been blamed for forcing the mum from her home in the Oldpark area.

Windows of the property were smashed and sectarian graffiti daubed on the walls on Sunday.

It has been claimed men saying they are from the UFF were responsible.

Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín said: “These shameful and depraved actions were carried in the full knowledge that her son, who died tragically last Thursday, was due to be waked from the family home.

“These sickening actions must be condemned by all and the criminals responsible should pack up and get off the backs of the community.”

Ms Ní Chuilín added: “The continued existence of these armed groups is a blight on society.

“The PSNI needs to intensify its efforts remove the scourge of loyalist paramilitaries from our society.

“I would urge anyone with information to bring it forward to the police.”

On Monday, local DUP councillor Dale Pankhurst said he and party colleagues had met with police over the incident.

In a post made on Twitter, he said: “No group was responsible and it is totally wrong of an MLA to speculate.”

Mr Pankhurst added: “We are opposed to any acts of intimidation which have a very damaging and harmful impact on the victims and on local communities.

“Lower Oldpark is a community that is growing in positivity and capacity, and we do not wish to see this sort of activity dragging the area backwards.”