Councillor Padraig McShane's home damaged in arson attack
The family home of an independent councillor has been badly damaged in an overnight arson attack in Ballycastle, County Antrim.
Flammable liquid was poured through the letter box of Padraig McShane's house in White Hall Avenue, Ballycastle, at about 02:40 BST.
No-one was in the house at the time.
Det Ch Insp Catherine Magee said: "Extensive damage was caused to the front door of the property and smoke damage to the interior of the house."
'Attack on democracy'
Mr McShane is a former Sinn Féin representative who resigned from the party in April 2010.
He is now an independent member of Moyle District Council.
His council colleague Dónal Cunningham, from the Social Democrat and Labour Party (SDLP), condemned those responsible for the arson.
Mr Cunningham said: "Any attack on a democratically elected representative is an attack on democracy itself and is totally unacceptable.
"This criminal behaviour is not welcome in Ballycastle. I hope the McShane family is able to move on from this ordeal."
The SDLP councillor appealed to anyone with any information to contact the police.
Mr McShane's former Sinn Féin colleague, Daithí McKay, said it was a "despicable attack on an elected representative and must be condemned outright".
"My thoughts are with Padraig and his family and I hope that those responsible are brought to justice.
"Luckily no one was injured in this cowardly attack but we could just as easily have been dealing with a tragedy," Mr McKay added.