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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 January, 2004, 16:46 GMT
DPP member's car burned
The car was destroyed by the fire
A car belonging to a district policing partnership member has been destroyed in a suspected arson attack.

Cathy Donnelly's car was parked outside her house in the Wayside area of Tandragee, County Armagh when the attack happened at about 0230 GMT on Wednesday.

She is a member of the Armagh district policing partnership.

Her young daughter was also in the house at the time.

Jim Speers, chairman of the Armagh DPP, said it was a frightening attack.

All members of every DPP work for the benefit of the whole community and their work and contribution is invaluable
Desmond Rea
Policing Board chairman

"This is a lady in a vulnerable part of the community, and it was certainly an attack that has to be condemned by right-thinking people," he said.

"The DPP members are people who are community minded and have given their time, energy and effort on behalf of the entire community."

Policing Board chairman Professor Desmond Rea said all his colleagues condemned the "despicable" incident.

"All members of every DPP work for the benefit of the whole community and their work and contribution is invaluable," he added.


SDLP Assembly member for Newry and Armagh, Dominic Bradley, described the attack as a "brutal assault on the whole community".

Among the neighbours who rushed out was fellow DPP member Paul Berry of the Democratic Unionist Party.

He said he got out of bed after hearing a bang.

Paul Berry
Paul Berry said Mrs Donnelly was clearly very shaken

"Clearly she was very shaken when I spoke to her early this morning," he said.

"She still really couldn't come to terms about what had happened.

"From what I can gather, I think she would still be determined to remain on the DPP, but that is for her to answer."

Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kennedy said the attack was "utterly disgraceful".

Last year, a number of people resigned from policing partnerships across the province following a campaign of intimidation by dissident republicans.

District policing partnerships were set up across Northern Ireland under reforms initiated by a commission headed by former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten and implemented by the government.

The bodies are made up of councillors and members of the local community, who work alongside the Police Service of Northern Ireland's 29 District Command Units in trying to meet local community policing needs.

BBC NI's Conor Macauley:
"Among the neighbours who rushed out was fellow DPP member Paul Berry"

BBC NI's Conor MacAuley reports
"Neighbours reported hearing a loud bang"

Security cameras for DPP homes
07 Oct 03  |  Northern Ireland
Second attack on DPP member
06 Oct 03  |  Northern Ireland
DPP warned of dissident threat
26 Sep 03  |  Northern Ireland
Death threat to Policing Board member
17 Sep 03  |  Northern Ireland
Policing body threats condemned
17 Sep 03  |  Northern Ireland
Police warn DPP of further threats
12 Sep 03  |  Northern Ireland

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