Cookstown car attacks 'not being linked to any sectarian motive'

Stewart Avenue where eight cars were vandalised.
Stewart Avenue where eight cars were vandalised.
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MId Ulster MP Francie Molloy has said that the PSNI have confirmed that damage to vehicles in the Stewart Avenue area of Cookstown is not being linked to any sectarian motive.

Residents had claimed that republicans had damaged eight cars recently as part of "an onslaught on the Protestant community" living in the area.

But the Sinn Féin politician said the incident was raised by his party colleague Councillor John McNamee at a meeting of the Policing & Community Safety Partnership on Wednesday night.

The Mid Ulster MP said, “Councillor McNamee was advised that they were dealing with the matter but it was not being treated as a sectarian crime.

“I believe that there are other elements involved here but would urge people not to simply jump to the easy option of saying it is sectarian and blame republicans.
"Sometimes it is better taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture of who is making the allegations and why.

“It is unfortunate that there are some who will want to stoke up sectarian tensions as we approach July when the reality is something very different.

Mr Molloy continued: “I am happy to stand over my position on this incident and once again I am more than happy to meet with residents whose vehicles have been damaged and to listen to their concerns.”