New York mayor backs Ó Muilleoir

Published Thursday, 08 August 2013
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New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has sent a personal message of support to Belfast lord mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, who was targeted by loyalist protestors at a civic opening in the city earlier this week.

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The Sinn Féin's representative was forced to flee the ceremony at a children's playpark in Woodvale Park in the Shankill area on Tuesday after he was mobbed by an angry crowd.

He has since vowed to continue to represent all the citizens of Belfast.

Mr Bloomberg, who met the lord mayor in New York shortly after his election, gave his backing to Mr Ó Muilleoir in refusing to be intimidated.

His message declared: "Our city stands squarely with him and all those who are working for unity and progress in Belfast and across Northern Ireland."

Nine police officers were injured during the scuffles which broke out at Woodvale Park.

Mr Ó Muilleoir was checked in hospital and was said to be "sore" afterwards.

It later emerged that the DUP had written to him warning him not to go to the event.

The lord mayor responded by saying: "My schedule will be set by the officers, by those who invite me and on the advice, always, of the PSNI. So there may be some elements within the DUP who wish to set my schedule for me but I'm not going to accept that."

The attack came amid heightened tensions in Belfast following the Twelfth of July and in the wake of changes to the flag-flying policy at City Hall.

It was condemned by politicians including the DUP while PSNI North Belfast Area Commander Chief Inspector Andy Freeburn branded it "appalling".

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Ulster Loyalist in Northern Ireland wrote (251 days ago):
An American politician sticking their ignorant noses into Northern Irish politics yet again.
kathleen loughran in belfast wrote (251 days ago):
This was a disgraceful turn of events a childrens park and those bigots let themselves down a bucketful.Educate your children and dont allow them to have this awful sights in their minds attacking anyone is WRONG WRONG WRONG
Tommy in Co Antrim wrote (251 days ago):
Eamo - Lynch mob? Like the mob that lynched the 2 army corporals in west Belfast who were beaten, stripped and murdered at an IRA funeral? Yes, republicans know all about lynch mobs... So the SF mayor was "jostled" by some old women and had to go to hospital because he had a wee bruise, big deal. I condone what happened but grow up you clown...
David in Belfast wrote (251 days ago):
@Eamo I suppose that Republicans haven't done anything to ruin the country, say like 30 years of violence. Lets not forget that this lord mayor is a member of the poltical wing of a terrorist group.
Paul in LOndonderry wrote (251 days ago):
@ Eamo in Belfast, One would find your comments laughable if they wern't so bigoted. The PUL ruined this corner of the United Kingdom since the 60's ? Did you conviently forget about the 1000's murdered and bombed by republicans over the last 40 years ? well done at showing everyone here your true bigoted nature
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