Councillors condemn attack on Aontú's Emmet Doyle

Members of Derry City & Strabane Council Health and Community Committee condemned an attack on Aontú councillor Emmet Doyle in the early hours of Friday, September 9.

Emmet Doyle
Emmet Doyle

After the attack councillor Doyle said he believed he was attacked in the Waterloo Street area of the city because of his views on abortion.

Raising the issue, SDLP councillor Brian Tierney said: “I want on behalf of the SDLP group to put on the record that this incident took place first and foremost in our city centre and that we think it is absolutely wrong that anyone should use violence in any way to try and make their viewpoint better than anyone else's.

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“We send our support and solidarity to councillor Doyle who unfortunately suffered from that attack.”

DUP Alderman Maurice Devenney added: “This has to be condemned, it’s not acceptable. We as councillors take the brunt of a lot of stuff but a physical attack is not acceptable.”

UUP Alderman Darren Guy said: "I spoke with councillor Doyle on the phone to send him my solidarity. As elected representatives we all put our heads above the parapet and we do get a lot of abuse both verbally and on social media but that’s easy to deal with because you have to be thick skinned in this job. But for someone to go out and physically attack an elected representative, it’s uncalled for and we all should stick together on this.”

Sending his party’s solidarity to councillor Doyle, Sinn Féin councillor Christopher Jackson said: “We condemn this despicable physical attack on him. As others have outlined there is absolutely no place in society for violence against anyone including elected representatives.”

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Elected representatives from all parties added their voices to the condemnation of the attack before councillor Doyle responded: “Can I extend my heartfelt thanks to councillor Tierney in particular for raising the issue about myself at committee?

"I’m very grateful for the calls I have received from some elected members, parties across the chamber, staff and constituents. What I will say about this is the police are going to investigate this and no one, regardless of their viewpoint on any specific and sometimes very emotive issues, should have to defend themselves physically in this city and as a result of their views.”