Business leaders hit out at ‘mindless action’

Business leaders in the city have condemned the planting of a bomb in the city centre as “mindless”.

Sinead McLaughlin, chief executive of the city’s Chamber of Commerce, spoke out after the discovery of around 50kg of home-made explosives close to the Courthouse at Bishop Street.

Some businesses in the vicinity were unable to open yesterday.

Ms. McLaughlin said: “This city is united in working together to progress economic growth and community wellbeing.

“We will not be deterred from that path by the mindless actions of the few.

“To their shame, these people seem increasingly intent on causing pain and hardship to the most vulnerable in our society. Our private and public leaders are all the more intent on ensuring the success of our city and deserving people.”

Meanwhile, Jim Roddy, of the City Centre Initiative, says the alert was “very disruptive” for many people - particularly dozens of elderly residents moved out of nearby sheltered housing at Alexander House.

“This is the last thing we want,” he said. “From a business perspective, it’s worrying for those people trading in an already challenging environment. Instead of working with us to create and maintain local jobs for local people, there are those intent on putting all of this at risk by planting bombs which could injure and kill. The only people being hurt are the people of Derry.”

Mr. Roddy paid tribute to all those who played a role in minimising the disruption caused.