Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:47 UK

Dissidents behind arson - Murphy

Two cars were destroyed in the attack
Two cars were destroyed in the attack

The regional development minister has blamed dissident republicans for an arson attack on his home in South Armagh.

Two cars were destroyed in the attack in the Church Road area of Camlough at about 0100 BST on Thursday.

Conor Murphy said he had to move his wife and children out of the house and warn his wife's elderly parents next door. No one was injured.

He said the "cowardly attack" could have killed someone.

"We had to evacuate our own kids out of our house, down to neighbour's houses, in case the cars actually exploded while they were burning," he said.

"They were all fairly traumatised by the whole experience.

"There was some damage to both houses but the fire brigade managed to get the fires out before the houses caught fire.

"If the petrol tanks in both cars had exploded I think the two houses would have gone on fire and the people in there would have been in grave danger.

"The people who came in here and did this had no regard for the safety of any of the people in either house.

"It was just an intent to cause damage and quite potentially a loss of life."

Both houses sustained scorch damage in the attack.


The Newry and Armagh MP said he would not be deflected from representing local people.

"The reality is the people who sneaked into my yard last night and traumatised my kids, my parents-in-law, my wife haven't offered any explanation as to who they are or what they're about.

"It is incumbent on them to do so and let people decide whether they offer a better way forward.

"Until such times as these people come out from under cover of darkness we can't actually ascertain who they are or what their motives are."

The police said they were treating the incident as malicious and have appealed for witnesses.

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