Politicians condemn Derry car bomb

Politicians from across Ireland and the UK have condemned a car bomb attack on Derry court house.

The blast has also been criticised by politicians from across the North’s political divide.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said he believes the dissident republican group known as the New IRA was responsible for the explosion on Bishop Street on Saturday evening.

A car bomb exploded outside Derry court house on Bishop Street on Saturday evening (PSNI/PA Wire)
A car bomb exploded outside Derry court house on Bishop Street on Saturday evening (PSNI/PA Wire)

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley welcomed the widespread condemnation and said the bombers will not be allowed to hold the region back.

“This attempt to disrupt progress in Northern Ireland has rightly been met with utter condemnation from all parts of the community,” she said.

“The small number of people responsible have absolutely nothing to offer Northern Ireland’s future and will not prevail.

“Our voices across the political spectrum are united.

“This is intolerable violence and we want to look forward and build a peaceful future for all in Northern Ireland.

“Thank you to the PSNI and emergency services who are working so hard to keep people safe and secure.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said his government condemns the incident in the “strongest possible terms”.

“This was an appalling, reckless and cynical act of terror,” he tweeted.

“Violence to achieve political objectives has been rejected by the people of this island again and again.”

The Taoiseach added: “I also want to acknowledge the good work and prompt response of the PSNI who prevented further harm.”

Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster described the attack as a “pointless act of terror”.

“This pointless act of terror must be condemned in the strongest terms. Only hurts the people of the City. Perpetrated by people with no regard for life,” she tweeted on Saturday evening.

“Grateful to our emergency services for their swift actions which helped ensure there have been no fatalities or injuries.”

Sinn Fein president Mary-Lou McDonald said it was a “mindless and outrageous attack on (the) people of Derry”, while her party colleague and Foyle MP Elisha McCallion said the incident had shocked the local community.

“Derry is a city moving forward and no one wants this type of incident. It is not representative of the city,” she said.

“I would encourage anyone with information about this incident to bring it to the police.”

Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann described the attack as an “act of cowardice”.

“There was no excuse for it during the Troubles and there`s no excuse for it now,” he said.

“Saturday night’s attack in Londonderry city centre was an act of cowardice.”

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, who is an MLA in Foyle, added: “The people of Derry are resolutely opposed to this. You represent no-one. Stop it now.”

Alliance leader Naomi Long also expressed disgust.

“It is absolutely sickening that there are still people willing to bring violence to our streets and risk people’s lives and livelihoods,” she said.

“Those behind this have no excuse and no support for their actions.

“Neither have they anything to offer beyond their desire to cause death and destruction.”

- Press Association

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