SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has suspended the party’s election campaign in solidarity with the victim’s of the Manchester Arena bomb attack while Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion has described the atrocity as “heartbreaking” and said her throughts are with the victims.
The local politicians made the comments after a lone suicide bomber blew himself up killing over twenty people, including children, as concert-goers were making their way from an Ariane Grande gig in the Manchester Arena on Monday.
Mr. Eastwood said: “Today the thoughts of the SDLP, our candidates and our members are with the victims of the attack on Manchester.
“This was a heartbreaking act of barbarism.
“Today is a day for unity of purpose, not party political difference. I have therefore suspended the SDLP’s election campaign for 24 hours as a mark of respect.
“The people of Ireland understand the tragic pain of loss that those in Manchester are feeling. We stand with the people of Manchester today, unbroken, unbowed and resolutely determined to defeat those responsible.”
Mrs. McCallion, commenting via the party’s social media, stated: “Heartbreaking watching the scenes of the Manchester attack. Thoughts and prayers are with them all.”
Elsewhere, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader Robin Swann also said his thoughts were with the victims.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and those injured in the attack at the Manchester Arena last night.
“This was a barbaric attack on our young people and families out for an evening of entertainment. It is an attempt to destroy our way of life and will not succeed. We stand united with the people of Manchester to face down the terrorists who carried out this cowardly act.
“As a parent I can only imagine the hurt and pain which the parents of the children killed and injured are going through. I hope they gain strength to carry them through the dark days ahead and wish a speedy recovery to those injured.
“The Ulster Unionist Party will be suspending campaigning today as a mark of respect and in a stance of solidarity with the people of Manchester.”