SF rap Minister over bomb tweet

Mark H Durkan
Mark H Durkan

Executive minister Mark H Durkan has been accused of being ‘insensitive’ because of a tweet he posted during the bomb alert in Derry on Wednesday evening.

A masked man placed the bomb on a bus carrying passengers in the Ballymagroarty area of the city and ordered the female driver to drive the bus to Strand Road PSNI station.

The incident sparked a major security alert when the driver raised the alarm and more than 70 people were evacuated from their homes during the resulting security alert.

The Environment Minister and Foyle SDLP MLA posted on micro blogging site, Twitter, during the security alert and appeared to reference the 1994 Hollywood action film ‘SPEED’, in which a bomb is placed on a bus in Los Angeles.

Mr Durkan posted: “Avoid Northland Road - ongoing security alert at Springvale. suspicious object left on bus. will keep you up to SPEED with developments.”

Sinn Féin councillor Eric McGinley described the tweet as “crass” and “insensitive”.

“I was shocked and disappointed when a tweet sent by Minister Mark H Durkan, seemingly making light of the serious incident involving a device placed on a bus, was brought to my attention.

“Intentionally or not, the fact that speed was in capital letters portrayed the perception that he was comparing this incident in which a female bus driver was traumatised with the film ‘SPEED’ in which a bomb was placed on a bus and the female driver made to follow specific instructions or the bomb would explode.

“I believe that this comment was crass, insensitive and unbecoming of a government minister,” he said.

Mr Durkan declined to comment on the issue.