Filipinos Attacked In Castlewellan Forest Park

rd June)  resulted in one Filipino male receiving stitches at the A and E department of the Downe Hospital. A police spokesperson said that around 7.30pm an argument had started over the siting of tents and a Filipino man had received an injury to his ear when an altercation began. The spokesperson added that the police did not see this as a hate crime and that the police did not have to escort the Filipino group from the Forest Park or the camp site. However, Councillor Clarke has strongly condemned what he described as “an unprovoked and vicious attack on Filipino families who were staying in the campsite area that evening. It seems that a gang of  five men descended on them and attacked the Filipino men in front of their wives. I am surprised that police do not see this as a hate crime. “Quite clearly the Filipino families were attacked in a very brutal and sustained manor which resulted in one of the men being taken to hospital for emergency treatment.” “I understand the PSNI had to be called to escort the families in safety from Castlewellan Forest Park following this vicious and savage attack. “I have spoken to both the Filipino Community Representative and the families. They are still very shaken up about the attack, and cannot understand why they were singled out to be attacked in Castlewellan Forest Park. “The Filipino families have stayed before in Castlewellan and Tollymore Forest Parks and had planned to stay in both parks during the summer. “I have advised the families that I will ask both the PSNI and the Forest Service to fully investigate this matter, and I have assured the families that Castlewellan Forest Park is a safe and popular camping and holiday resort, and to not let this attack to deter them from visiting Castlewellan Park again. “I would appeal to anyone who also may have witnessed this attack in Castlewellan Forest Park to forward any information onto the PSNI,”  added Councillor Clarke. Filipino woman Katrina Albarico said in reporting the incident to Alliance MP Naomi Long’s office in East Belfast that they were assaulted “by five men resulting in all the husbands being physically attacked with one needing hospital treatment. The families had to pack up and be escorted by the police on their way home as they were threatened. Other campers who tried to intervene were also attacked.” DARD have still to respond to a request for information about the incident to Down News who understands that the Forestry Service were initially unaware of the attack last Friday evening.]]>