‘Protect bridge from bombers’ - Campbell

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The DUP’s Gregory Campbell has warned that Derry’s iconic peace bridge must be protected at all costs from dissident republican bombers.

The East Derry MP says the “entire community” must remain “very vigilant” in the coming days and weeks to thwart those who, he says, aim to “wreak havoc” in the city.

The new £14 million bridge across the river was officially opened on Saturday during a ceremony attended by a host of dignataries including the North’s First and Deputy First Ministers, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Martin McGuinness believes the new bridge can be a catalyst for change in the city.

However, last night, Gregory Campbell warned against any complacency.

He told the ‘Journal’: “There were a series of statements issued and massive publicity given to the opening of the bridge and many of them attributed all sorts of idealistic outcomes for this new piece of infrastructure. Some saw it as an example to other parts of Northern Ireland in how to bring people together while others talked about an historic and momentous occasion.

“There is absolutely no doubt the new bridge will greatly assist in getting people more easily into the city centre from the Waterside and vice versa and it will also contribute to reducing the level of traffic congestion, particularly at peak times.

“However, the more dramatic some of the statements have been - particularly with regard to what it can do to cement peace building - the more those who have sought to wreak havoc in the recent past will notice.

“These people have not required any ‘beacon of hope’ to target in the past but, having seen the massive international publicity engendered by the bridge and its opening, the entire community must be very vigilant in the coming days and weeks.”

Mr. Campbell described Saturday’s gala event as an “outstanding success”.