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O'Lynn hits out at those behind hate crime incident at playground

Alliance Councillor Patricia O’Lynn has hit out at those behind an incident in a Ballymena playground, which saw a teenage girl shot in the face by a pellet gun.

The 15-year-old was with three young cousins at the playpark in the Ballykeel Two estate on Wednesday when she was hit. It is believed she won’t suffer any long-term injury as a result. Police are treating the attack on the girl, who was wearing traditional Pakistani clothing at the time, as a hate crime.

“There is no doubt this is a disturbing incident that must be condemned by everyone,” said Councillor O’Lynn.

“My thoughts go out to the victim of this attack, after what must have been a terrifying experience. I am relieved no long-lasting damage was done, which is lucky in the circumstances.

“I want to reassure the girl and her family the vast majority of people in Ballymena are welcoming, open and tolerant. There is no place in our society for racism or other hate crimes, and people here will abhor both the attitude and actions of those who carried out this attack.

“I would appeal to anyone who has any information on this to contact police with it immediately.”