Mayor ‘horrified’ at Orlando massacre

The Mayor of Derry & Strabane Hilary McClintock opening the Book of Condolence at the Guildhall, (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

The Mayor of Derry & Strabane Hilary McClintock opening the Book of Condolence at the Guildhall, (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

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The Mayor of Derry has spoken of her horror at the Orlando massacre as two Books of Condolence were opened in Derry yesterday.

A candle-lit vigil organised by Foyle Pride was due to take place at Derry’s Peace Garden in the city centre last night in the wake of the horrific attack on patrons of an LGBT nightclub, with 49 people killed and another 53 wounded.

The new Mayor of Derry & Strabane, DUP Councillor Hilary McClintock, met yesterday with members of the local LGBT support group, the Rainbow Project, as she said she wished “to convey to them personally my concern that the LGBT community has been so callously targeted in this way”.

The Mayor was speaking after opening a Book of Condolence at the Guildhall. The Rainbow Project in Derry has also opened a Book at its premises.

Speaking about the tragedy, Alderman McClintock said: “I was horrified to hear the news as it broke that so many people have been tragically killed in this atrocity in Orlando.

“It’s simply unimaginable that people out to enjoy a night out could be targeted in this way, and I want to express my sadness and sympathy for the many families affected.

“It goes without saying that I condemn this outrageous attack, which is not only an attack on the victims, but also on western society as a whole. The fact that the majority of those targeted were members of the LGBT community has also sent shockwaves through this community across the world, and I want to offer my sympathy and support to local people affected.”

The Book of Condolence at the Guildhall will remain open over the coming weeks.

Sinn Féin Derry Councillor Sandra Duffy meanwhile said she was “shocked and horrified at this horrific and senseless act of slaughter of the innocents”.