30/04/2014

Petrol Bomb Attack On Alliance Offices

Seven petrol bombs have been thrown at the Alliance Party offices in east Belfast in an overnight attack.

The office on the Upper Newtownards Road was attacked on Tuesday evening by a gang who smashed windows and threw petrol bombs at the premises.

East Belfast Alliance MP and deputy leader Naomi Long said: "This is yet another attack on democracy. If there are still people out there who think that violence and intimidation will prevent Alliance from working on behalf of the public in East Belfast, they are absolutely and totally wrong. My colleagues and I will not be bullied or intimidated. We will not be deflected by men of violence from carrying on the work of peacebuilding, and no-one should be under any illusion otherwise."

Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle said: "Elected representatives should not be prevented from working on behalf of their constituents. My colleagues and I work from this office to deliver constituency services for people from right across East Belfast. There can be no justification for attacking our office or bringing violence onto our streets."

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt said: "The attack on a democratically elected MP’s office last night is deplorable. It is mindless, pointless, and not in anyone's interests. I really fail to understand what those who carried out the attack thought they were going to achieve or what cause they were furthering. In a democracy you demonstrate your discontent at the ballot box, not by throwing petrol bombs."

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell said: "This attack must be roundly condemned by all political parties. No matter what anyone’s political beliefs may be, no-one has the right to carry out such a reckless act.

"This is not the first time the Alliance Party has been targeted and it cannot be tolerated. What happened last night was wrong and can never be justified"

(IT)

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