30/05/2014

Firebomb Explodes In L'Derry Hotel

A bomb has exploded after being left in the reception area of the Everglades Hotel in L'Derry.

The hotel was evacuated after the device was reported at 23:15 on Thursday evening. It exploded a short time thereafter as Army bomb experts were working to diffuse it. No-one was injured, but the reception was extensively damaged.

It is reported that a masked man had left the device at reception, saying he was from the 'IRA'. He told staff that people had 40 minutes to get out and then ran out of the hotel.

Justice Minister David Ford said: "This attack comes on the back of a positive year with Derry showing the world what it has to offer with the success of the City of Culture and the all Ireland Fleadh.

"This is a reckless attack and those responsible have shown a total disregard for life. Thankfully, primarily because of the swift action of the hotel staff, there have been no injuries. I know that the overwhelming majority of Derry people will be appalled by this attack, and we stand with them against those who want to stop their city moving forward."

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said: "Once again we see a reckless attempt to kill and injure innocent people going about their daily business. Extensive damage has now been caused to one of our premier hotels, which is venue of choice for many visitors to Northern Ireland’s walled city.

"It is extremely fortunate there were no injuries sustained by guests, staff or the police officers who attended the scene. The heroic actions of the Everglades staff are to be praised as they worked to ensure the safety of their guests.

"I know that almost without exception the local community will be appalled by last night’s attack and I would urge anyone with information to pass it to the police."

Waterside Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming said: "The attack on the Everglades Hotel was wrong and it put the hotel’s staff and customers’ lives at risk. They piled more grief on a family in mourning who were preparing to bury a loved one this morning. They have also put people’s jobs at risk at a time of deep recession.

"Those who carried out the attack have nothing to offer the people of Derry by their stupid and futile activity. The people of Ireland went to the polls last week and in overwhelming numbers voted for parties and independents who stood on a platform of job creation, investment and a peaceful future. It's time these people respected the wishes of the Irish people to advance the cause of Irish unity peacefully and democratically."

(CVS/CD)

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