As Alliance Party Election Candidate for Newry and Armagh I condemn the car bomb which exploded in Newtownhamilton at approximately 11.30pm on Thursday 22 April 2010.
Reports from the area indicate that the bomb exploded at approximately 11.30pm after the sound of automatic gunfire a short while beforehand. I have been informed that at least one person has been injured and that buildings have been damaged in the area as a result of this disgraceful terrorist attack.
Initial indications are that this is yet another attempt by Dissident Republicans to drag Northern Ireland back into the past. Northern Ireland has moved on since the Troubles. The vast overwhelming majority of people across Northern Ireland and Newry and Armagh want to live their lives in peace and are worried about ‘bread and butter’ issues rather than about fighting an old war.
I agree with the Chief Constable when he recently stated "when I go to the graduation ceremonies of new recruits, many of whom are Catholic young people doing a fantastic job, they are not joining the PSNI to be part of a British war machine, they are joining to be the impartial guardians of your family and your young people's future.”
I hope that none of the injuries are life threatening and that everyone makes a speedy recovery. Yet again local people will have to pick up the pieces as a result of the actions by a few people who offer nothing but destruction and misery.
I join with the vast majority of people across Northern Ireland who will today be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Police and the people of Newtownhamilton. Together we can defeat the men of violence by building a United Community based upon a Shared Future.
23 April 2010