Belfast Telegraph

Death threats won't drive me out, UUP's Chris Smyth

By Mark Edwards

An Ulster Unionist candidate in the West Tyrone by-election has reported death threats he received online to the PSNI.

Chris Smyth, a UUP councillor in the Fermanagh and Omagh District, said: "I will not be driven out of here. This is my home. I have every right to live here. I was born here and I will certainly not be driven out or cowed by trolls on social media."

He added that he would be sending the posts to the PSNI to investigate.

Sinn Fein candidate Orfhlaith Begley said: "These threats are totally unacceptable and should be condemned by all. No-one should be subjected to this kind of abuse simply because they are prepared to put themselves before the public in an election.

"Unfortunately, it seems that online abuse seems to becoming more and more prevalent, but I want to offer my support to Chris and I am absolutely certain that the overwhelming majority of people will find this abuse absolutely abhorrent."

The other candidates standing tomorrow are Thomas Buchanan (DUP), Stephen Donnelly (Alliance) and Daniel McCrossan (SDLP).

The by-election was called after the resignation of Sinn Fein MP Barry McElduff, who quit in January, 10 days after a controversy erupted when he tweeted a video with a Kingsmill-branded loaf on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre.

He insisted it was not an intentional reference to the murders of 10 Protestant workmen in 1976, but he acknowledged he had caused hurt and offence to victims' families.

Belfast Telegraph

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