Portballintrae: Boat set on fire in row over flag

Elaine Mitchell,BBC News NI

grey placeholder McAuley Multimedia Ltd The yacht sailed into Portballintrae last night flying an Irish Tricolour McAuley Multimedia Ltd

Three men arrested after an assault outside a boat club in Portballintrae in County Antrim have been released on bail.

The incident happened in Beach Road at 19:45 BST on Monday.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said the fight broke out over a flag on a boat.

The boat was later extensively damaged in a fire.

One man required hospital treatment after what police say was a “sectarian-motivated hate crime”.

It is understood the flag was an Irish tricolour.

grey placeholderBurnt out boat on the water
grey placeholderBurnt out boat on the water

The report is being treated as a sectarian-motivated hate crime

‘Extensively damaged’

Three men aged 25, 63 and 30, were arrested on suspicion of offences including criminal damage and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Police say they received a report of an altercation between a number of men in the pier area concerning a flag that was displayed on a boat.

“The boat was later set alight and extensively damaged,” the force said.

“Officers attended the scene, and one man required hospital treatment for his injuries.

grey placeholderColeraine Coastguard Boat damaged by fire Coleraine Coastguard

Extensive fire damage was caused to the vessel

The police want anyone who may have seen anything to get in touch with them.

“We are treating this report as a sectarian-motivated hate crime and we are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and noticed what happened.

“Anyone with any information or who may have mobile, CCTV or other footage can contact police on 101 quoting reference 1651 03/06/24.”

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