24 May 2022

"I will not be silenced or let anyone come in the way of my work supporting our communities"

Politicians from parties across the community express their solidarity with Foyle MLA Sinead McLaughlin after bomb threat

"I will not be silenced or let anyone come in the way of my work supporting our communities"

Foyle MLA Sinead McLaughlin receives outpour of support after bomb threat at her constituency office

Foyle MLA, Sinead McLaughlin, has received an outpour of support following the bomb threat at her constituency office on Derry's Spencer Road yesterday afternoon (January 27).

Ms McLaughlin and her staff were forced to evacuate their office on Thursday afternoon after being informed by police of reports that a bomb was left at the premises.

The PSNI carried out a thorough search and found nothing untoward.

Speaking on Radio Foyle, the SDLP MLA said: "No public representative or their staff should have to work under those conditions where they feel like they are under threat so it is really disheartening.

"But it only tightens my resolve to keep on doing what I am doing. Last night at about 9:20pm, the PSNI rang me to say the alert has been lifted.

"They didn't find anything untoward and they told me to just to keep vigilant over the coming days.

"So, we will be back doing what we do, helping support the community and trying to reach out to our constituents and do everything we can to help make their lives better."

Taking to twitter, Ms McLaughlin added: "Serving the people of Derry is an absolute privilege."

Ms McLaughlin and her team received an outpour of support from the community, fellow SDLP colleagues as well as many politicians from other parties.

Foyle MP Colum Eastwood, leader of the SDLP, said: "This threat against SDLP Foyle MLA Sinead McLaughlin is a despicable attempt to intimidate and stop a tireless public representative from doing their job.

“I know Sinead will not be deterred and my thoughts are with her and her constituency team after what must have been a frightening experience.

“The entire SDLP stands fully behind them in solidarity.

“Elected representatives should be able to go about their duties without having to worry about threats being issued against them.

“We’ve seen recently in England how the targeting of politicians can end up with tragic consequences.

“Sinead McLaughlin serves the people of Derry and neither she nor her staff should have been subjected to this ordeal.”

Strangford SDLP Representative, Conor Houston, tweeted: "Solidarity with my friend and colleague, Sinead McLaughlin. I know it won't deter Sinead from continuing to represent the people of Derry as passionately and brilliantly as she does."

Alliance MLA for South Belfast, Paula Bradshaw, tweeted: "Appalled by the threat to Sinead McLaughlin and her staff.

"Sinead and her team have brought dedication and expertise to the Assembly, and are a privilege to work with. They are all very much in my and our thoughts this evening."

UUP South Antrim MLA Steve Aiken added: "I join in the condemnation of threats against Sinead McLaughlin and her staff - intimidation of elected representatives and their support staff undermines democracy & damages the community MLA’s represent."

DUP’s Gary Middleton wrote: “Disgusted to hear of the bomb threat at Sinead McLaughlin's constituency office today. My thoughts are with Sinead and her office staff who have been subjected to this disgraceful threat. There’s no place for this behaviour in our society. Shame on whoever is behind it."

Derry author Claire Allen took to Twitter and said: "Sinead McLaughlin is one of Derry's finest- never afraid to fight for the rights of ordinary people.

"Her office provided support with compassion and care to a family member of mine during a personal tragedy last year. This attack is unacceptable."

A PSNI spokesperson said: "The security alert at the Spencer Road area of Derry is now over. Officers attended and nothing untoward was found.

"We would advise anybody who sees anything suspicious to contact police on 101."

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