Bomb warnings at home of Sinn Fein MEP

Martina Anderson pictured with her mother Betty (90) and Martin McGuinness.
Martina Anderson pictured with her mother Betty (90) and Martin McGuinness.

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson has spoken of her family’s anger at a succession of bomb alerts at the home she shares with her 90-year-old mother.

Ms Anderson told the Journal she was sickened that people would do such a thing, knowing that her mother Betty lives there and requires round-the-clock care as she suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, mobility and other health problems.

Martina Anderson with her mother Betty Anderson.

Martina Anderson with her mother Betty Anderson.

It is understood Ms Anderson’s home in Lisfannon Park and the home of another Sinn Fein member in the Greater Shantallow area have been the targeted in bomb alert warnings today (Tuesday).

It comes as dissident Republicans were blamed for an escalation in violent activity in Derry over the past week.

Ms Anderson said three warnings were phoned in to the Samaritans overnight, while further warnings were also received today at Sinn Fein offices.

She said her mother Betty had woken up during the night because all the lights had to be turned on as searches around the house were conducted. Nothing has been found as yet, she confirmed.

“Our main concern is our mother,” Ms Anderson said. “My mother is 90 years of age. We had a birthday celebration just two weeks ago. She cannot walk, she cannot talk.

“My mother is one of the most solid Republicans there has been. She has lived in that house for well over 30 years. Everybody knows my mother is in that home. Why would anybody do this?

“Whoever is doing this, it is absolutely shameful.

“Fr Mulvey’s Park is to the left of us and there are older people in the Little Diamond area. There are also a lot of young children.”

Ms Anderson said that only for exceptional circumstances this week she would have been at the European parliament and her husband in Belfast when the bomb warnings came through.

“People would know it’s my mammy who would be there. It is very unsettling, particularly for the rest of my sisters who are there caring for our mother.”

A PSNI spokesman confirmed today: “As a result of information received police carried out checks of two homes in the Galliagh and Edenballymore areas of Derry on Tuesday afternoon. Nothing untoward was found.”

The latest alerts come after the home of Martin McGuinness was targeted by paint bombers this week.

Within the last seven days there have also been explosions at both the Reserve Army barracks in Limavady Road and the Probation Service office in Crawford Square, with a warning issued to the Samaritans on that occasion as well.