Trade unions ‘appalled and angry’ following bomb attack on PSNI worker

Trade unions across the island of Ireland are “appalled and angry” at the attempted murder of a female PSNI worker in Co Londonderry on Monday, the ICTU has said.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 7:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 7:50 pm
A major forensic investigation followed the discovery of a viable explosive device near Dungiven on Monday. Photo: Pacemaker Belfast

NI Secretary Brandon Lewis and members of the NI Policing Board have also expressed support for the young mother, who serves as a part-time police constable in addition to her full-time support role.

The so-called ‘New IRA’ grouping is suspected by police of placing a potentially lethal explosive device outside the home of the officer near Dungiven.

A senior police officer said the improvised bomb was attached to flammable liquid that would have created a fireball had it detonated while the woman was placing her three-year-old daughter into the family car.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

However, it was spotted and subsequently dealt with by army technical officers.

Patricia King, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, said: “Every trade union on the island of Ireland is appalled and angry at the attempted murder yesterday of a woman and her young family for going about her work. We stand with her.

“A device was planted which was designed to immolate a public servant who has been active in her union NIPSA and whose public duties bolster the peace process through the administration of justice for all in society.

“This is an attack on all of us who voted for the Belfast Agreement and who have advocated since for its full implementation.”

Ms King added: “Today, this support for the peace process and its servants was reiterated by every union attending the ICTU Executive Council at its monthly meeting.”

ICTU assistant general secretary Owen Reidy has asked anyone who supports the attack to explain what “this woman or her child did to deserve being burnt alive?”

Mr Reidy added: “How does that advance any cause? This is the misogyny of an easy target and needs to be called out.”

In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Mr Lewis described the attack as “cowardly”.

He said: “I’m sure that the whole House will join me in offering my support and thoughts to the PSNI officer who was subject to a cowardly attack earlier this week.

“Those who attack our public servants and emergency services personnel have nothing to offer the community they claim to represent.

“I’m sure the whole community will join everybody across this House in support for that officer and will come forward hopefully with any information they may have to help bring those responsible to justice swiftly.”

At a meeting of the policing board’s resource committee on Wednesday, Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly said the committee members “wished to record their abhorrence at the attack on this mother and her family, and welcome the strong messages of support and condemnation voiced across the community and from all political parties”.