Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Arson attack owner vows to rebuild

By Diarmúid Pepper

A Newry business owner says he is focused on rebuilding his car dealership after a New Year’s Eve arson attack on his premises.

Police were called to ‘Elite Cars and Recovery’ on the Forkhill Road, Newtowncloughoge in the early hours of Tuesday morning (December 31).

The blaze took place at around 2.15am and destroyed 15 of the company’s high-end vehicles, including the company’s branded van.

It was reported that two men wearing balaclavas were seen leaving the area and made a getaway in a black Toyota Avensis.

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service were called out to the scene and the incident is being treated as deliberate ignition.

The PSNI is also appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward to assist the on-going enquiries.

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Liz Kimmins issued a similar appeal, saying: “This disgraceful act of premeditated criminality has shocked the local community. Anyone with any information about this incident should contact the Police as a matter of urgency.”

The business has only been open for six months and the manager said that he has been left shocked by the incident.

However, he said that he will rebuild the company and will continue to operate in the community.

The manager added that although the fire was “horrific”, he was glad that “only stock has been destroyed and no one has been injured”.