Petrol bomb attack on home of fracking company worker condemned

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Politicians have united in denunciation of a petrol bomb attack on the home of an employee of a company hoping to carry out fracking in Fermanagh.

The attack on the house of a Tamboran worker involved a petrol bomb being thrown at the property in the hamlet of Letterbreen in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police in Enniskillen have appealed for information about the apparent intimidation at the house on Station Road.

A PSNI spokesman said: “At around 3.25am, it was reported that a car drove by a house in the area and it is believed that a petrol bomb was thrown at the property.

“No one is believed to have been injured during the incident and inquiries are continuing.

“Police would like to speak to the driver of a dark coloured Audi estate car which was seen in the area at the time of the incident, who may be able to assist with their inquiries.”

Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Arlene Foster said it was “very clear” that the home was targeted because of the individual’s work for Tamboran and said it “comes on top of other incidents faced by employees”.

“This is a disgraceful and cowardly attack on the home of an innocent person,” the enterprise minister said, adding that “employees are facing a tirade of sectarian abuse from protestors”, something she said had to “stop immediately”.

The MLA added: “Any protests in relation to Tamboran’s activities must be peaceful and it is important that all public representatives are clear that employees of this company have a right to live in peace and without fear of attack.”

Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott said: “There is no excuse for such dangerous, criminal activity. The wider public must be allowed to have its opinions free from such intimidation.

“There are suggestions that this attack on innocent people may be linked to opposition to proposals to carry out an exploratory drill in relation to investigations into fracking.

“While many people, including myself, have concerns about the proposals to carry out fracking in Fermanagh it does not justify terrorist-type campaigns against the process and those involved in it.

“It is unfortunate that some of those involved in the anti-fracking campaign are determined to engage in violent acts. I have also been made aware of some unsavoury actions at the protest area, some of which are of a sectarian nature.”

Erne West Ulster Unionist councillor Alex Baird added: “I have outlined my serious concerns about fracking, these include the potential of causing unstable ground structure and possibility of land and waterways pollutant leading to public health worries.

“I will not, however, be part of any campaign that breaks the law, has sectarian aspects and is violent.”

Local Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew, whose party has been vocally opposed to fracking, also strongly condemned what had taken place.

“Someone could have been seriously injured in this attack on a family home and I unreservedly condemn this action,” she said.

“While the vast majority of people in Fermanagh and further afield oppose fracking, this is not the way to express that opposition.

“Peaceful and lawful protests take place on a daily basis at Belcoo and I would encourage people to join those.

“Sinn Féin is totally opposed to fracking and will block any proposals to frack in Fermanagh if and when that comes before the Executive.”