South Antrim MP has rounded on those responsible for what he described as “racially motivated attack” on an Indian family in Antrim.
A mother and two young children were at their Meadow Drive home when the family car was set on fire in the driveway in the early hours of Friday morning.
Danny Kinahan, along with his UUP Assembly colleague Adrian Cochrane-Watson, condemned those responsible and branded them “cowards”.
“This is an absolutely disgraceful act that greatly angers me,” Mr Kinahan said.
He added: “To attack a family car, outside their home, when the only members present were women and children is simply despicable. “If the attackers think they are sending a message on behalf of Antrim then they have a very loose grasp of reality.
“Antrim is a place for everyone, regardless of their origin. It is those who carry out attacks such as this that are not welcome in Antrim.
“The Antrim community will however, let the law deliver that message.”
Mr Kinahan said that the mother and her partner work in caring professions; he is currently in India for his own father’s funeral.
“I cannot express enough the regret I feel that this incident has occurred. I assure them and the wider community that we will work tirelessly to eradicate attacks such as these,” Mr Kinahan said.
He added: “There is no place in South Antrim for those who think racial differences are a reason to cause criminal damage and mental anguish. It is pathetic and cowardly.”
South Antrim MLA Adrian Cochrane-Watson echoed Mr Kinahan’s anger over what has happened.
“I am repulsed at the thought that this may have been carried out to send a message to this family or any minority community in AntriM,” Mr Cochrane-Watson said.
He added: “I would like to make the cowards aware that the people who live in this house are healthcare professionals.
“They may well one day be instrumental in saving or sustaining their lives and they will do so regardless of who they are or where they are from because they are valuable, upstanding members of our community.
“I hope the idea of that cripples them with guilt while they await a knock on the door from the PSNI.”
Mr Cochrane-Watson added: “I concur with Danny that we and the wider Ulster Unionist team in South Antrim stand shoulder to shoulder with our minority communities.
“We have and will continue to support them and assure them that we will do all in our power from Westminster through Stormont and Council to eradicate racially motivated hate crime.”