04 February 2006

Loyalists blamed for blast bomb on family

Belfast Telegraph

By Sarah Brett and Brendan McDaid
03 February 2006

A Derry man whose family home was targeted in an overnight blast bomb attack today said he believes loyalists were responsible.

James Poole, who has lived in his house at Benview in Coshquin for 45 years, said his wife's nerves were shattered since the midnight attack when the bedroom window was blown in by the blast.

Their 10-year-old daughter Ruth was asleep in the back of the house, near the border with Donegal, when the bomb exploded.

None of the family was injured in the incident.

He said: "I'm just shocked. I was in the front room watching the TV. I'd just taken the wife down a water bottle when there was a bright orange flash and then a bang. The windows were put in and then I saw a bolt on the floor.

"These people are all cowards. They came at night so as not to be seen. I've lived here for 45 years. I've been threatened by loyalists in the past, in August or September, one came up to the house and hit me a slap in the mouth.

"I'm not prepared to say why but it's just a dispute with somebody and they've gotten loyalists involved somehow."

Mr Poole told how his wife was partially protected by curtains when the bedroom window shattered.

Two large chunks of masonry were taken out of the wall.

A neighbour who was wakened by the blast said: "I was in bed and I just heard a loud bang. It was a scary experience. I didn't know what it was.

"There has been quite a lot of activity here ever since."

A spokesman for the PSNI said today: "A couple and a 10-year-old girl were in the house at the time, but there are no reports of any injuries.

"A motive for the incident has not yet been established."

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