In scenes reminiscent of Northern Ireland’s sectarian past, a gay couple in the city of Londonderry have spoken out after a gang threatened to burn them out of their home.
The couple, one of whom is disabled, have been the victims of an intimidation campaign by locals in the Creggan area of the city.
They have said they may have to move house.
David McCartney, manager of the Rainbow Project, a support group for LGBT people, told the BBC:
“The stuff that’s been happening to them has been quite severe, windows put in, their front door kicked in, their car damaged.”
The couple have decided to speak out, and Mr McCartney said they were “courageous” for doing so.
During the Troubles, tens of thousands of Roman Catholic and Protestant families were burnt out of their homes by sectarian mobs.
Last month at Derry MP spoke out after an arson attack on the home of a gay couple in his constituency.
A lit disposable lighter was left against the front door of their home in the city of Londonderry, causing minor damage.
The News Letter reported that the couple are so distressed by the incident that they may leave the area.
Police said they are investigating.
Mark Durcan, MP for Foyle and leader of the nationalist SDLP, told The News Letter:
“This attack was fuelled by sickening homophobia and must be met with vocal and outright rejection, both in Derry and throughout our wider society.
“As a community, we need to show our solidarity with those who suffer this awful prejudice, and we need to show those who attack them that it is they who are in the tiny minority in this society,” he said.