Home / Community / Mom has car torched in racist attack. Local community raises money for new one in hours.

Mom has car torched in racist attack. Local community raises money for new one in hours.


An online campaign in Northern Ireland to buy a new car for an Indian mother targeted in a racist attack has raised more than £5000.

Subi Philip, a 38-year-old nurse originally from South India, had her car torched in the attack in the early hours of 26 November at her home in the Meadow Drive area of County Antrim.

The fire also damaged part of the house, forcing Ms Philip and her two daughters – aged 8 and 10 – to flee.  Her husband was in India on a personal visit at the time.

Outraged at the attack local councillors Jonathan McCarthy and Michael Wilkinson set up an appeal on a crowd funding website to raise cash for Mrs Philip to replace her car.

Within hours the appeal had surpassed the £5,000 target.

In a message on the appeal’s page, Mr McCarthy and Mr Wilkinson state: “Subi Philip is a cardiac nurse, who until the night of Thursday 26 November, lived in Antrim with her husband and two children.  Now she has been forced to flee her home, for her own and for her family’s safety, after her car was set ablaze while they slept. The fire destroyed the vehicle, and burned the side of their home.

“Why?  The police believe the attack was motivated by racial hatred. Mrs Philip and her family are originally from India.

“Northern Ireland is indebted to people like Mrs Philip, who bring valuable, and in her own case, life-saving skills to our country. We need to make it known loudly and clearly, that immigrants are welcome in Northern Ireland, that this place is a country where people can bring their ideas, their investment, and most importantly, their families, knowing that that they will be welcomed.

“The actions of Thursday night are not representative of the Northern Ireland we know, but a place and a time we want to leave in our history books. Our Northern Ireland is an open and forward thinking society, where people are judged on the strength of their character, the work they do, and the contribution they make.

“In short, this campaign is not about replacing a car, in spite of the title.

“It’s is a cross-community call to the Philips, and the many other families like them who will see this headline, and have second thoughts about staying another year here. And it’s an opportunity, for our own sake, to take another senseless act which would make us embarrassed to be from Northern Ireland, and turn it into something of which we can be proud.”

Describing her experience of the attack, Ms Philip recalled: “I just heard a big bang and got out of my bed and saw a big fire.  When I came downstairs and saw it, I started screaming.  My girls didn’t know why I was screaming and they were screaming too. I was really panicking.”

Neighbours knocked her door urging her to leave but she feared it was the arsonists.

“I was scared. I wasn’t sure if they were there to attack me and my girls or not,” she said.

When she realised that they were trying to help, she opened the door and fled with her children.

Local residents and community leaders joined in the universal condemnation of the attack.

MLA Adrian Cochrane-Watson said: “It was the work of cowards who have earned the contempt of the entire Antrim community.  I know that the vast majority of people in Antrim share my sense of revulsion at this incident.”



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