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walk out Housing Executive contractors in Belfast down tools after threats sprayed on hoarding

Sources in the area have told the Sunday World the threats have been delivered by a specific group of people in order to serve their own interests

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Dozens of workers have downed tools in the loyalist Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey after death threats against them were sprayed on nearby hoardings. Photo: Pacemaker Press

Dozens of workers have downed tools in the loyalist Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey after death threats against them were sprayed on nearby hoardings. Photo: Pacemaker Press

Dozens of workers have downed tools in the loyalist Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey after death threats against them were sprayed on nearby hoardings. Photo: Pacemaker Press

Contractors have downed tools in sites across Newtownabbey after threats were made against those working on behalf of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. 

The sick threats were spray painted on boarding in the Rathcoole area on Tuesday.

The contractors were beginning work on Monkscoole Tower which is set to be knocked in a wider plan by the Housing Executive to create more social housing in the area.

One of the sinister messages appears to include the address of two people being targeted in the threats.

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Dozens of workers have downed tools in the loyalist Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey after death threats against them were sprayed on nearby hoardings. Photo: Pacemaker Press

Dozens of workers have downed tools in the loyalist Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey after death threats against them were sprayed on nearby hoardings. Photo: Pacemaker Press

Dozens of workers have downed tools in the loyalist Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey after death threats against them were sprayed on nearby hoardings. Photo: Pacemaker Press

A source in Rathcoole told the Sunday World those who have delivered the threats do not speak for the majority of residents in the area.

They said: “The residents here abhor these threats against people just trying to do an honest day’s work. Everyone here knows who is behind the threats, but we cannot speak out or we will have our own homes targeted.

“More social housing would be beneficial to the area. The tower is literally falling apart. The towers were never built to last this long and they are a source of anti-social behaviour in the area, but yet again we have people who have their own agenda who want them to remain because the towers are beneficial to them, and them only. They do not speak on behalf of the good people of Rathcoole.”

The NI Housing Executive has confirmed that some services, including health and safety work, have been suspended as a result of the threats.

In the statement, a spokesperson added: “The safety of our staff and contractors is paramount and we utterly condemn this behaviour.”

Meanwhile, the police are appealing for information following the report of criminal damage at the construction site in the Rosslea Way area of Rathcoole in Newtownabbey.

Inspector Bryan said: “We received a report on Tuesday morning (23 November) that graffiti had been daubed on the site hoarding at some stage overnight.

“Enquiries are ongoing, and I am appealing to anyone with information to contact us on 101 quoting reference 266 of 23/11/21.”

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