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Police jobs fair day is cancelled by hotelier after bomb

By Donna Deeney

Published 14/10/2015

Cautious: Garvan O’Doherty
Cautious: Garvan O’Doherty
Mark Hamilton

The owner of a hotel targeted by bombers has cancelled a police recruitment event a day after one of the most senior officers in the PSNI said he could see no reason why it couldn't go ahead.

Garvan O'Doherty told the Belfast Telegraph the realisation that a bomb discovered on the grounds of the Waterfoot Hotel in Londonderry was viable left him with no choice.

Police are now looking for an alternative venue for the information day which was due to get under way on Saturday.

Mr O'Doherty said: "It was a very difficult decision for me but given that the device was viable, I felt I had to put my staff and customers' safety first and had to cancel the event.

"We can't allow ourselves to be intimidated but the tactics adopted by the dissidents are dangerous and deadly so whilst I give the PSNI my full support, this time around I felt I had no other choice.

"I am a very strong advocate of the Good Friday Agreement and of the PSNI and we will have to find other ways to support them but we have to encourage the dissidents to come up with other ways to get their point across without the use of violence and I am prepared to work with the dissidents to achieve that."

Dissident republicans have been blamed for the bomb.

It is believed that the motive for the attack on the Waterfoot in the Waterside mirrored an attack at the Everglades Hotel in Prehen ahead of a recruitment day last year - deterring Catholics living in Derry from joining the PSNI.

An incendiary bomb was thrown into the Everglades Hote last year ahead of a PSNI recruitment day, causing massive damage to the hotel reception area.

However, that event went ahead as planned with additional security measures in place.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton had previously stated they were particularly keen to receive applications from Catholics living west of the Bann in area like Derry, Fermanagh and Strabane.

While the search for an alternative venue for the Derry event continues, Mr Hamilton added: ""Clearly there are people out there in today's society who are still intent on targeting our police service and causing harm to our communities.

"We know, however, that the actions of these few misguided individuals will not stop people pursuing a career in policing.

"In fact we've already had almost 2,700 applications in this current recruitment process and I would continue to strongly encourage those interested in joining the PSNI and who want to make a positive contribution to Northern Ireland to apply.

"We need individuals who understand the benefits of policing with the community and the positive impact it can have on people's lives.

"We are committed to ensuring that the Police Service is reflective of our society and welcome applications from across all sections of the community."

For further details on how to apply visit www.joinpsni.co.uk.

The closing date for applications is Friday October 23 at noon.

 

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