30/05/2006

Polish man assaulted in County Londonderry

A Polish man has been treated in hospital after he was seriously assaulted in County Londonderry at the weekend.

It is understood that he was selling pictures, door to door, when the attack happened.

The man was found badly injured in the Station Road area of Magherafelt early on Saturday evening.

He was taken to hospital where he was treated for multiple fractures to his skull and facial injuries.

UUP MLA for Mid-Ulster, Bill Armstrong today condemned the attack.

He said: “The vicious attack on a man from Poland on Saturday evening in Magherafelt must be totally condemned. I am disgusted that anyone could treat another individual in such a brutal manner.

“I understand that the police are currently investigating a motive on this attack. However, there can be no place in a modern society for racism. Without tolerance and respect for diversity, no society can meaningfully prosper.

“I have met numerous people from Poland who have come to Northern Ireland to earn a decent living, and they all come across as pleasant, hard-working people. Foreign Nationals are extremely important to the Northern Ireland economy. Many have left impoverished lives in other Countries in search of work and sustainability for their families. They should not be condemned to misery for wanting something better for themselves and their loved ones. They deserve our help and support, they deserve to be treated as we would hope we would be treated if emigrating to another country.”

Police are currently trying to establish a motive for the attack and have appealed for anyone who may have been offered pictures for sale in the Magherafelt area between 5pm and 8pm on Saturday May 27, or for anyone who may have witnessed the attack, to contact them.

Detectives also want to hear from anyone who may have noticed a black coloured Audi 100 car in the area between these times.

They can be contacted on 0845 600 8000, or anonymously on the Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111.

(EF/SP)

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