Car attacked during RBP church service

Brownlow House
Brownlow House

A CAR owned by a member of Royal Black Preceptory was attacked on Sunday afternoon in what police are treating as a hate crime.

The owner of the car had parked it close to Brownlow House prior to meeting district members there for a parade and church service.

It’s believed the man was spotted getting out of his car wearing a suit and carrying a collarette and his car was attacked while he was attending the church service. All four tyres were slashed and, when the man returned to his vehicle, the ‘MAIL’ understands abuse was shouted at him.

A local councillor has said it’s a real setback for those trying to make Brownlow House a location which is inviting to all sides of the community.

Commenting on the attack, local Ulster Unionist Councillor Colin McCusker said: “When I heard about this attack, I was disgusted, but also genuinely distressed.

“Not just for the individual concerned for the distress, obvious cost and inconvenience this has caused, but the realisation that despite the best efforts to open Brownlow House to the public for the last six years, this has had no positive impact on relations with the immediate local community.

“I had hoped that given the amount of weddings, public functions and other cross community events that take place in Brownlow House, not to mention the coffee shop that is open daily, that this type of sectarian attack was a thing of the past.

“It is obvious that republicans are still determined to drive the Unionist community out of Brownlow House, or at the very least, make sure they know they are not welcome in this part of Lurgan.

“As soon as the locals realised the owner of this car was taking part in the Royal Black parade, they set out about slashing the tyres on his car. This type of behaviour is not welcome in Lurgan by all right thinking people, and I would call on everyone to condemn such activity.”

Police are appealing for information following the incident of criminal damage in the Windsor Avenue area. A spokesperson said: “On Sunday afternoon the tyres of a Volkswagen car were punctured. This is being treated as a hate crime.

“Police are appealing to anyone who was in the area and witnessed the damage being caused or has any information in relation to it to contact them in Lurgan on 0845 600 8000.”