Belfast Telegraph

SDLP councillor in petrol bomb scare while out canvassing

An SDLP councillor has spoken of her fear after a petrol bomb was thrown at her car as she canvassed for votes last night.

Cookstown councillor Christine McFlynn was left shaken after her car was targeted in Coagh, Co Tyrone, around 8.30pm.

Councillor McFlynn says she and a male party colleague were making their way back to their parked car close to the Finnobar estate when they noticed flames coming from under it.

As they got closer to the car, the pair realised it was petrol bomb.

Last night Mrs McFlynn said the device consisted of petrol poured into a Red Bull can.

She said: “It scared the life out of us when I realised what it was. I said, ‘We are not moving this car’ in case they had put something else under it. You just don’t know. It was the fellow who was along with me who noticed it first. He said, ‘There’s something glowing under that car’.

“And there it was, a can on fire between the two front wheels. When they police arrived they wouldn’t let us move the car as they carried out their checks.”

The councillor says she will take extra precautions in future.

She said: “Usually we have two people on a canvass in a country area and I think we will have to increase that to four from now on. The thing is we have this town almost finished, there’s just one more road to do. But we won’t be put off.”

SDLP Deputy Leader and outgoing Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone was on his way back from Dublin when he heard about the attack on his party colleague.

He said: “I rang Christine to see how things were going with the canvass and she said it was great.

“Ten minutes later she rang me back and said things have taken a turn for the worse so I came straight to Coagh from Dublin. We will be out again tonight, this bit of sectarian thuggery will not deter us.”

Belfast Telegraph

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