A church in Northern Ireland has been attacked after offering refuge to a group of Romanians who have suffered violent racial abuse.
Politicians from across the divide have expressed alarm at the rising crime wave against immigrants from Eastern Europe. Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuiness, believes the problems may stem from England “Young people in particular have been watching what has been happening in England over the recent European elections and the so-called success of the British National Party so there’s a real danger here that there’s a copycat situation taking place,” he said. The trouble in fact erupted in March after Northern Ireland lost to Poland in a qualifying match for football’s World Cup. Since then dozens of people with suspected Eastern European origins have been attacked. Police have charged three men – two of them in their teens – over the intimidation of the Romanians.