Belfast Telegraph

Alliance Party politicians receive bullets in post: Pair will 'not be deterred' by death threats

By John Mulgrew

Two Alliance Party politicians have said they will not be deterred from representing their city after receiving death threats and bullets in the post.

Belfast councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown and representative Duncan Morrow had bullets "hand-delivered" to their homes on Friday night.

Both have said the chilling threats would not deter them from representing Belfast.

Mr Emmet McDonough-Brown said "elected representatives should be able to work on behalf of their constituents without the fear of violence or intimidation".

"The irony is that this happened during Culture Night, a night when Belfast came together as a city, shared space and gave us a glimpse of what is possible when we work together," he said.

"These people are afraid of what Alliance stands for. Their attempt at intimidation will not succeed. My colleagues and I will continue our work to make Belfast a more open and prosperous city for everyone."

The Alliance Party has been under a campaign of intimidation, bomb threats and attacks on its offices over the last 18 months.

The recent attacks began following a decision by Belfast City Council to limit the flying of the Union flag over the civic building to designated days.

Duncan Morrow said those responsible for the latest threat are "mistaken if they believe that this will stop us from continuing our work to deliver a shared future for everyone in our society".

"They offer Belfast nothing and only wish to see a return to the dark days of the past," he said.

The Alliance offices of East Belfast MP Naomi Long were targeted as recently as July during a hoax bomb alert.

Petrol and paint bombs were also thrown at the building several times this year.

Ms Long also received a death threat.

At the height of attacks, the party office was blighted with a series of hoax bomb alerts.

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood said those responsible for the "callous and sinister" attacks offered "nothing to the people of Belfast and will not succeed in intimidating public representatives".

The offices of fellow Alliance members were also attack in the wake of the Belfast City Council decision in December 2012.

Just days later the office of Stewart Dickson was destroyed in a blaze which ripped through the building amid rioting in Carrickfergus.

Then, in July this year, a shotgun shell was taped to the front of the East Antrim MLA's constituency office.

Earlier this year a married Alliance Party couple announced they were leaving politics a year after their home was targeted by flag protesters.

Michael and Christine Bower's Bangor home was attacked with paint bombs in December 2012.

The couple cited their young children as their reason for retiring from their council positions.

Their young daughter Grace - who was just 17 months old at the time of the attack - had been playing in front of the window a short time before a missile smashed the glass in their front room.

 

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