SDLP and SF slam those behind alerts

editorial image

Nationalist and republican representatives have condemned the hoaxers responsible for widespread disruption in Londonderry at the weekend.

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney said: “These security alerts have brought nothing but disruption to the city.

“The evacuation of the railway station and the closure of the train line between Derry and Coleraine, combined with the security alert on Spencer Road, has resulted in long delays ahead of the evening rush hour.

“They have also caused disruption to city centre traders who were already experiencing a slower than usual day in the run up to Christmas as a result of the Apprentice Boys parade.

“Great strides have been made in recent years by the local community, the Apprentice Boys and the PSNI to ensure a respectful atmosphere and minimise disruption and those efforts have been widely supported.

“These alerts do nothing for the image of the Derry as a forward looking city.”

SDLP leader and Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood said: “Derry is often cited as the model for successful resolution of contentious parades. We have a long-standing tradition of respect for everyone’s identity and culture in this city, indeed the spirit of openness was key to winning the bid for City of Culture while I was Mayor.

“Those who seek to disrupt that respect or diminish the process of reconciliation in this city with bombs or bullets have betrayed the people of Derry.

“This is not about a divide between Catholics and Protestants, unionism and nationalism or loyalists and republicans. The only divide in this city is between those who want to blow our peace apart and those of us who will stand together to protect it.

“Derry has overcome so much through years of conflict. We will continue to overcome those who try to diminish our peace. I would encourage anyone with any information about these incidents to get in touch with the PSNI as soon as possible.”