‘Unionist’ senator, Ian Marshall, has praised Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald, and Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, for their prompt visits to Derry after the recent violence in the Bogside.
Senator Marshall, a Co. Armagh farmer from a unionist background who sits as an independent in the Seanad, said it was important to note their efforts.
“The great significance of the presence of the Tánaiste in Derry after the violence and trouble that erupted there must...be noted, as must the presence of Deputy Mary Lou McDonald in the city to try to deal with some of the issues and calm the situation,” he said.
Senator Marshall said Mr. Coveney’s and Mrs. McDonald’s interventions were welcome but expressed disappointment at how the North was portrayed internationally as a result of the riots.
He said there was a marked contrast between the news coverage and what he found on the ground driving north on July 12.
“When I left Dublin that morning, the newspapers were filled with images of very violent scenes in Belfast and Londonderry, which was disappointing. However, all was peaceful as I drove through Northern Ireland. The roads were very quiet because it was a bank holiday.
“The temperature was good and the sun was shining. The reality north of the border was completely different from the images of it portrayed globally. As a Northern Irish citizen, I find such coverage hugely disappointing,” he said.