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Sinn Fein councillor defiant following bullet threat

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Threat: Gary McCleave

Threat: Gary McCleave

Threat: Gary McCleave

A Co Antrim Sinn Fein councillor has said he will not be deterred after a bullet was posted through his letterbox.

Politicians condemned what they described as a "cowardly effort" to intimidate Lisburn and Castlereagh City councillor Gary McCleave.

Mr McCleave, his wife and their young children were all in their Glenavy home at the time.

On Twitter yesterday Mr McCleave said: "This morning I awoke to a bullet posted through my letterbox - this is a reckless attack on my family.

"My message to the criminals who carried out this attack is clear - I will not be deterred and I will continue to represent the people who elected me."

Sinn Fein's South Antrim MLA Declan Kearney said there was "no justification" for the bullet threat.

"Sinn Fein and councillor McCleave will not be deterred," he said. "Gary will continue to carry out his duties on behalf of the people who elected him without fear or favour.

"The cowards responsible for this act of intimidation have no politics.

"They are clearly in conflict with their own community.

"This is the latest in a series of despicable threats and attacks against Sinn Fein activists and elected representatives at a time when the debate on Irish unity is centre stage.

"There is absolutely no justification for these actions. Those responsible should get off the backs of ordinary people. "I am saying very clearly that anyone with information on these threats and attacks, including now against Gary McCleave, to immediately contact the PSNI."

The PSNI said that it does not discuss the security of individuals and "no inference" should be drawn from this.

"However, if we receive information that a person's life may be at risk we will inform them accordingly," it added. "We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk." Mr McCleave received dozens of messages of support below his tweet.

Former Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn wrote: "Good for you Gary, we need to move on from this sort of behaviour. I hope your family is ok. All the best."

SDLP councillor John Gallen added: "Gary, that's shocking to hear, hope you & the family are all ok."

And Green Party councillor Brian Smyth tweeted: "Solidarity with you and yours, Gary. Take care."

Belfast Telegraph