Northern Ireland

Londonderry bomb: Condemnation of 'pointless act of terror'

Bomb detonating in Londonderry Image copyright PSNI
Image caption The device exploded a short time after a group of teenagers had walked past the vehicle

Saturday night's bomb in Londonderry has provoked condemnation from politicians, churches and business leaders.

The PSNI said the attack may have been carried out by a dissident republican group, known as the New IRA.

Police in Derry have condemned the attack outside the city's courthouse as "unbelievably reckless".

"The people responsible for this attack have shown no regard for the community or local businesses," Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said.

"They care little about the damage to the area and the disruption they have caused."

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, said: "The small number of people responsible have absolutely nothing to offer Northern Ireland's future and will not prevail.

"Our voices across the political spectrum are united. This is intolerable violence and we want to look forward and build a peaceful future for all in Northern Ireland."

'Act of terror'

The Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) condemned what he described as a "cynical act of terror".

Leo Varadkar said the use of violence to achieve political objectives has been rejected by the people of Ireland time again and again.

The tánaiste (deputy prime minister) Simon Coveney said he "utterly" condemned the incident in a tweet, calling it a "terrorist attack".

"There is no place and no justification possible for such acts of terror, which seek to drag Northern Ireland back to violence and conflict," he wrote.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption PSNI forensic officers combed the bomb site on Sunday

The DUP leader, Arlene Foster, also condemned the "pointless act of terror".

She said on Twitter it was carried out by people with no regard for life.

Derry's mayor John Boyle said: "I would actually like to ask the people responsible for this what it actually was that they thought they were going to achieve?

"It achieves nothing, it didn't achieve anything in the past, it didn't achieve anything right now."

His SDLP party leader, Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood, tweeted: "The constant in Irish history is the person believing they're working on the Irish people's behalf when they're actually working in direct opposition to the Irish people."

'Attention seeking'

The Sinn Féin president, Mary Lou McDonald, described the incident as "a blatant and outrageous attack on the people of Derry" accusing the bombers of "attention seeking".

"I would appeal to everybody in the community to remain firm in our collective resolve to move our politics forward and to those who are responsible - shame on you, shame on you and stop," she said.

Ulster Unionist Deputy Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Alderman Derek Hussey, said there can be no justification for planting the bomb.

"Those who carried out this act had no thought for the safety and well-being of fellow citizens, much less the hard-pressed economy and the impact this will have on the city's businesses, nor the impression given to visitors to our area."

"This is nothing less than fascism, where violence and the threat of violence are used to terrorise people and communities, and these people need to be rejected and rooted out from our midst for the good of all."

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said she was appalled.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption"Hatred for this city and the people in it"

"It is absolutely sickening that there are still people willing to bring violence to our streets and risk people's lives and livelihoods," she said.

"Those behind this have no excuse and no support for their actions. Neither have they anything to offer beyond their desire to cause death and destruction."

The Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rev Ken Good, said those responsible showed a "callous disregard" for people's lives.

Colin Neill, chief executive of industry group Hospitality Ulster, said hotels and bars "have bounced back straight away".

"Derry-Londonderry is a great city and is an integral part of our tourism and hospitality offer at home and internationally and we must support it in every way we can," Mr Neill said.

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