City unites in anger over bomb attack

Derry’s politicians have united in their condemnation of the attempted bomb attack in the city centre on Sunday evening.

The condemnation was led by Foyle MP Mark Durkan, who had to move out of his office on Bishop Street yesterday while British army bomb disposal experts examined the scene where the bomb was discovered.

Mr Durkan said those behind the attack wanted to created as much disruption as possible. “Those responsible were out to cause damage and if they couldn’t cause damage they certainly wanted to cause disruption to the commercial centre of the city and the many people who live nearby – not least the older people who live in Alexander House.

“Indeed, Alexander House was one of the places that got the warning. This was done with malice and all the worst possible fallout with calculation and forethought from those involved,” he said.

He also said the attack would achieve nothing. “If those behind this think they are doing something to damage the legal system they are not. They are just damaging the people of Derry - damaging their daily lives as they go about their business in these very difficult times for everyone,” he said.

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson appealed to the bombers to call a halt to their actions. “Over the past number of days the focus of everyone interested in the future of this city was on the disgraceful decision by Michael McGimpsey’s denial of Radiotherapy Services to this region. Those who planted that bomb last night succeeded only in temporarily diverting that attention.

“But I have a message for those responsible. The people’s focus will be back on building for the future as soon as the debris is cleared but you will still be stuck in the past with not a progressive thought between you. So get real, pack up your tent and go home,” she said.

Ms Anderson also said such attacks will only strengthen the resolve of local communities to work for the city.

DUP Assemblyman William Hay also condemned the attack. “There’s no doubt about it, where it was placed it was to cause maximum damage to property and lives,” he said.

UUP alderman Mry Hamilton said; “We are trying to move on and look towards a city of culture and this is certainly not helping

A spokesperson for the People Before Profit Alliance in Derry said the bombers have nothing to offer the city. “The group who planted this device are trying to repeat a strategy that failed when it was tried by the Provisional IRA. It has done nothing to contibute to a freer or more democratic society.

“When the smoke has cleared from this bomb, the governments who are attacking ordinary people and destroying our public services are still in place. They do not care one bit about the occassional explosion or the disruption caused to the lives of the people living nearby, especially the older people living in Bishop Street. We call on these groups to end their failed campaign,” the spokesperson said.

Alliance party spokesperson Kieth McGrellis also condemend the attack. “I was shocked and saddened to learn that dissident republicans have again put the lives of local people in Derry at risk. This campaign must end now. The public do not want this violence on the streets. To put elderly residents out of their homes just shows that these thugs have no care about the consequences of their actions,” he said.