Belfast Telegraph

Death threats won’t stop us, say Alliance duo sent bullets

BY DEBORAH McALEESE

Two Alliance Party members who had bullets posted through their doors have vowed they will not be threatened from their posts.

The ammunition was hand-delivered through the letterboxes of Belfast councillor Emmet McDonough Brown and Duncan Morrow on Friday night.

The threats are the latest in a long campaign of intimidation against members of the party since it voted to limit the flying of the Union Flag at Belfast City Hall in December 2012.

That month, Alliance East Belfast MP Naomi Long was forced to leave her home after receiving a death threat, and her office was put under police guard.

Yesterday, Mr McDonough Brown, whose republican activist father Jimmy Brown was gunned down in 1992 as part of a feud within the Irish People's Liberation Organisation — a terror group eventually ordered to disband by the IRA — said that those behind the intimidation would not succeed.

He added: “We will not be deterred from representing the people of south Belfast by those who delivered bullets to our homes. Elected representatives should be able to work on behalf of their constituents without the fear of violence or intimidation.”

The councillor also criticised the perpetrators for attacking the democratic process. “These people are afraid of what Alliance stands for,” he added. “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 irony is that this happened during Culture Night, a night when Belfast came together as a city, a shared space, and gave us a glimpse of what is possible when we work together.”

His colleague Mr Morrow (below), a lecturer at the University of Ulster and the former head of the Community Relations Council, also hit out at the tactics and claimed the perpetrator were locked in Northern Ireland’s violent past.

He said: “Those responsible 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 they only wish to see a return to the dark days of the past.”

Loyalist outrage over Belfast City Council’s democratic decision to limit the flying of the Union Flag at City Hall has led to a number of threats against Alliance members, as well as attacks on the party’s constituency offices.

In May the remains of a petrol bomb were discovered in party premises in east Belfast following a paint bomb attack.

The night beforehand, seven petrol bombs were thrown at the same building, causing considerable scorch damage.

The UVF has been blamed for the campaign.story so far

Alliance Party members have come under threat since Belfast City Council voted to limit the flying of the Union flag at City Hall in December 2012, sparking loyalist outrage. Some members have been warned to leave their homes and party offices have also been attacked. The UVF has been blamed for the campaign of intimidation.

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