Teenager held over attacks on Romanians

Michael McHugh,Press Association
Friday 07 March 2014 03:05

A man in his late teens was arrested today over violence which left terrified Romanians fleeing their homes in Northern Ireland.

Police raided two houses in south Belfast following vandalism which left windows smashed on homes in the area.

More than 100 Romanians left and were put up overnight in a church hall earlier this week. They have been given emergency accommodation while they consider their future.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokeswoman said: "Police investigating the intimidation of Romanian nationals between June 11 and 15 in the south Belfast area have conducted two search operations in the Donegall Avenue area this afternoon.

"One man in his late teens has been arrested and is currently helping police with their inquiries. The operation is currently ongoing."

Donegall Avenue is in the loyalist working-class Village area near the two properties that were attacked last weekend.

Around 114 people became refugees as the Romanian ambassador visited Belfast for talks with political leaders and police.

Separately, on Wednesday night a bathroom window was broken in a house where three generations of Romanians were living.

Political leaders have condemned the violence.

Romanian ambassador Ion Jinga met Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont yesterday.

He said he was encouraged by the response from members of the public, with food and blankets donated and the perpetrators condemned.

The victims, including a five-day-old girl, have been given temporary accommodation to allow them time to consider their future. Many wanted to be repatriated.