Londonderry dissident attacks ‘created a climate of fear’

A workman removes paint from the Londonderry home of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
A workman removes paint from the Londonderry home of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

Pre-election attacks blamed on dissident republicans have created a climate of fear in Londonderry, a group of business and community leaders said.

Bombs were planted near homes in the city while the car of a Sinn Fein councillor was set alight and the home of the party’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness targeted by paint bombers.

Sinn Fein has blamed opponents of the peace process for the recent upsurge and police were on high alert for more attacks as people went to the polls.

A statement from the Unity Of Purpose group in Londonderry said: “These attacks against the people of this city have created an atmosphere of fear and a heightened sense of threat across the city.

“We particularly condemn those attacks in built-up areas that have subjected local people to terror and fear in their own homes.”

Officers have stepped up patrols targeting dissidents opposed to the peace process and the danger to the security forces is rated as severe.

Unity Of Purpose is an organisation including members of the Londonderry Chamber of businessmen, elected representatives and other community leaders from the area. It was established to facilitate dialogue across the statutory, community and voluntary and private business sectors.