Belfast Telegraph

Derry car bomb: Leading academic Deirdre Heenan slammed for Twitter attack on Theresa May in wake of blast

By Mark Bain

A tweet by a leading academic slamming Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of Saturday night's car bomb attack has prompted an angry reaction.

The social media post by Ulster University's Professor Deirdre Heenan, who also serves as a member of the Council of State for Ireland - the body which advises Irish president Michael D Higgins - was quickly condemned, with DUP MLA Christopher Stalford and Labour MP Kate Hoey among those taking exception to it.

Ms Heenan is a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University and a former Provost of its Coleraine and Magee campuses.

On Saturday evening, the Professor of Social Policy tweeted to the Prime Minister. She wrote: "Two years of no government, decay, stagnation and we are poised to bear the brunt of #Brexit.

"Complete disinterest from your government and acceptance of the political stasis.

"Frankly, this is a dereliction of duty and we deserve better."

The comments provoked an immediate reaction.

Christopher Stalford MLA replied: "Theresa May is in some way to blame for Republicans planting bombs in Londonderry now? If there is a logic here, it's tortured."

And Labour MP Kate Hoey wrote: "Would you not be better condemning those who planted the bomb rather than pretend it has anything to with @theresa_may"

In reply to Ms Hoey, Ms Heenan moved to clarify her comment.

"Kate. Be in no doubt, I utterly condemn those who planted the bomb.

"Violence is and has always been inexcusable.

"In the words of former SOS the late Dr Mo Mowlam, 'We cannot afford to allow a political vacuum to develop which those wedded to violence would be happy to fill'."

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