SDLP's McDevitt receives death threat

Published Thursday, 13 December 2012
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SDLP south Belfast MLA Conall McDevitt is the latest politician to receive a death threat in the wake of a controversial vote to reduce the number of days the Union flag flies at Belfast City Hall.

SDLP's McDevitt receives death threat
Conall McDevitt said he has received a death threat. (© Pacemaker)

Mr McDevitt said on Thursday the warning was posted to him and the police are investigating.

"This will not deter me from representing the people of South Belfast and working for an inclusive, peaceful and prosperous society," he said.

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell said: "This is a cowardly, cynical act by those determined to drag our society back into the shadows of the past, but they should be aware that we will not be intimidated and they will not prevail.

"The whole of the SDLP stands in solidarity with Conall."

Meanwhile Co Armagh, the office of DUP Assembly member William Irwin in Richhill has been attacked, with windows smashed and paint daubed on the property.

"Whilst this incident does not compare to some of the other disgraceful attacks and threats on elected representatives, it is an attack on the democratic process nonetheless," said Mr Irwin.

"Attacking democratic facilities and services is mindless and completely pointless when such facilities are in place to serve our communities' needs."

A threat has also been made to DUP councilor for Belfast, Guy Spence.

Mr Spence, who is one of the youngest elected Northern Ireland representatives, said he would not be deterred.

"I was proud to stand alongside every one of my Party colleagues in City Hall and indeed every unionist Councillor in support of the retention of the Union flag remaining 365 days per year," he said.

"I would also hope that there will be a successful outcome to the proposal put forward by my party that our national flag will fly every day beside the Cenotaph in City Hall grounds."

DUP MLA William Humphreys said the threats on public representatives "reinforce the need to demonstrate that politics is the only way forward".

He said the decision to reduce the number of flag flying days had led to "one of the worst breakdowns in community relations in recent years".

But he added the party would "continue to show leadership" on the issue.

Alliance Leader David Ford MLA has expressed "outrage" at the latest intimidation after his colleague east Belfast MP Naomi Long and senior DUP members Jeffrey Donaldson and Edwin Poots have also been targeted.

"I am outraged that yet another elected representative has been issued with a threat by cowardly individuals. It is completely unacceptable that Conall along with other politicians have had been given death threats," he said.

"Issuing death threats against elected representatives is an attack on democracy. The threats, intimidation and attacks that we have seen against members of my party as well as those of the DUP, SDLP and Sinn Fein must stop now."

On Wednesday it was revealed that a man had been charged with making threats to kill First Minister Peter Robinson.

The 34-year-old man appeared at Newtownards Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

© UTV News
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9 Comments
Davey in Lisburn wrote (591 days ago):
If the tricolour is to fly alongside the UNION FLAG then the ROI should pay its way in NI. They could pay the ROI benefits to the nationalists in NI which would save the UK a fortune. Not likely to happen because ROI is IN DEBT to IMF, EU and the UK.
alan in mid-ulster wrote (591 days ago):
Again we are being held to ransom by people not getting their own as they are not even educated on what the british flag means in any country, the tri colour repressents the unity we show when the lies of devision are not listened to, why would anyone want a government to have rights over our lives, any government when elected stop listening to the people anyway and the only athority the tri colour has is that no government will have rights over our lives, our land and our future so we can work together and have the people in power not parties, we have more important issues to sort out so lets get them sorted, a free country is that no government can tell us what to do when we live with peaceful respect, a free country is that we dont need policed from each other
Ryan in Belfast wrote (592 days ago):
Mark in NI: Mark, why should Dublin city hall fly the Union flag? Since when has the majority of councillors elected in Dublin been Unionist councillors? Thats the case with Belfast, the majority of the councillors democratically elected and choosen by the people are Irish Republican/Nationalist councillors who are LEGAL irish citizens. Mark, my arguement is valid, yours is not. Almost half, and soon to be the majority, of the citizens of Belfast is Irish Nationalist/Republican. If Dublin had a population of 50/50 Unionist and Nationalist, only then would you have an arguement of putting the Union flag and Tricolour up on Dublin city hall Mark.
Mark in NI wrote (592 days ago):
Ryan - you can have the tricolour up in Belfast as soon as Dublin city hall hoist the union jack!
jimmymac in Canada wrote (592 days ago):
There is no going back. What has been done cannot be undone. To give in, to the pathetic lawless loyalist, whose union flag mania, foolishness, has made North-Ireland,truly the laughing stock of the world.But, Sadly, tourism has taken a blow as most visitors will by-pass N I and head South.
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BRIAN ROWAN
The pictures from Stormont this week showed us how politics here still walks in and out of step.
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