Bullets sent to SF and Alliance MLAs

Published Wednesday, 19 December 2012
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Bullets have been posted to five Northern Ireland politicians, including the leader of the Alliance Party.

Bullets sent to SF and Alliance MLAs
Stormont security intercepted bullets sent to Alliance leader David Ford. (© Pacemaker)

David Ford and his party's MP Naomi Long were both named on the parcels which were delivered to Parliament Buildings on Wednesday.

The Mayor of Larne, Alliance Party councillor Gerardine Mulvenna, was another representative to be sent bullets in the attack, which is being linked to the ongoing flag dispute.

Mr Ford described it as a further twist on the continued "assault on democracy and assault on democrats", adding it was not clear who sent the bullets.

What is absolutely clear is that it's adding to the atmosphere, it's adding to the fear and tension.

Alliance leader David Ford

"It's clearly something where people are now taking action way beyond anything that might have been expected to arise from a democratic decision of a local council," said Mr Ford.

Earlier this month, Ms Long said she was the subject of a death threat, and the homes and offices of a number of Alliance representatives were attacked.

The attacks follow a vote taken at Belfast City Council to only fly the Union Flag on designated days.

Packages containing bullets were also addressed to Sinn Féin MLAs Gerry Kelly and Alex Maskey.

Mr Kelly said the attacks were "obviously connected to the current protests against the democratic decision taken at Belfast City Council".

Demonstrations against the vote, which have been held in towns and cities across Northern Ireland, are in their third week.

"These protests are being orchestrated by loyalist paramilitaries and attended by members of the two main unionist parties," said Mr Kelly.

"Obviously protestors have been wound up prior to the decision in Belfast and those that have kept up the tension need to reflect on what they have created."

This is obviously a step up in the attempt to intimidate elected representatives.

North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly

The politicians said the actions of those behind the death threats and bullets would not deter them from carrying their political duties.

An Assembly spokesperson said: "A package was delivered to Parliament Buildings today and intercepted by security staff."

Police confirmed they dealt with a number of suspicious packages found in the post room at Stormont.

Meanwhile members of Lisburn City Council are to re-examine how often the Union Flag is flown at the city hall.

On Tuesday night, DUP and UUP councillors voted for the policy of designated days to be reviewed.

But Alliance Party members and nationalists were left angered by the decision, and they said it is not the time to open a new front in the flag dispute.

© UTV News
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23 Comments
WTF in Ards wrote (672 days ago):
@ Who cares in Antrim, enough Nationalists on BCC gave enough of a damn to bring the matter up....didn't they. Same as enough Nationalists in Newry thought it was a great idea to name a playpark after an IRA terrorist.......just like enough Nationalists gave enough of a damn to vote for the Shinners knowing full well their history.....BTW I agree with you that these protests are a waste of time and will achieve nothing. PS I'm very secure in my identity, knowing full well there will not be a United Ireland in my lifetime. Merry Xmas and a happy New Year to you too.
Frosty in Here wrote (673 days ago):
A few dozen people deciding the fate of a nation is not a democracy. Then again, democracy is the tyranny of the majority. Can't win.
Who cares in Antrim wrote (673 days ago):
WTF in Ards, you are wrong. The vast majority of catholics and nationalists do not give a damn. Fly the flag, don't fly the flag. We don't care. Equally, many protestants don't care. All this protesting and thuggary is just an excuse for the chavs to run havok on our streets. Children as young as 10? They haven't a clue. I am confident in my own identity, I do not need a tricolour erected or the removal of a union flag to reaffirm this. Don't be so insecure. Merry Christmas!
Me in Larne wrote (674 days ago):
That's a bit hypocritical Ryan republicans have bombed and murdered for years and did they worry about democracy ?? I think not
Danny in Ulster wrote (674 days ago):
@Gary in Dublin - you "had to cancel beacuse of the flag issue" really? There are numerous drugs related murders and shootings in Dublin every week but I have never said I won't go near Dublin due to all the violence there. No modern city is perfect and violence free pal, thats life i'm afraid.
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