On Saturday 21 May 2011 there was a security alert at the NW200 Ireland’s most famous road race. This alert was declared a hoax after police had searched the paddock. Unfortunately, there was only one race completed this year as on top of the hoax alert there was a major oil spill which meant that the event had to be abandoned. So bad luck on top of the actions of those responsible for the hoax security alert has meant that thousands of fans of motorcycling have gone away with very little seen this year.
This is very disappointing for the fans, as well as for the riders. However, safety is always important. I hope that next year the races will be back on and running safely.
Also today there was an explosion in Derry. Police Chief Inspector John Burrows has said that
there was sheer panic…
There were young children who had to be evacuated. People could have been killed when this explosion went off.
Fortunately there were no reports of injuries or damage when the bomb did go off. The bomb was thrown into a branch of the bank Santander in Shipquay Street by masked men.
Both these events today have been undertaken by people who are the enemies of liberty, equality and community. I call on anyone who has any information concerning these two crimes to report this to the Police Service of Northern Ireland as quickly as possible. It is vital that the criminals behind these events are found and brought to justice.
At a time when the buzz across Ireland is to look for a shared future living in peace between all communities the man whose involvement stems from the civil rights movement in the 60s to the Belfast Agreement and is still felt today is a beacon of where we can be. Hume is a man who spent all of his public life working to bring people together. As someone who started out merely looking out for the local residents of Derry as part of the Derry Citizen’s Action Committee and a founder member of the Derry Credit Union his rise to international acclaim shows how local campaign can shape a life and change the world.
John Hume of course set up the SDLP but it was his work in secret talks with Sinn Féin that got the first cease-fire in the troubles declared in Northern Ireland, then got them around the table for talks about a shared future, which culminated with the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.
He’s done a lot to lead to a united, shared future for those of us in Northern Ireland and indeed Ireland as a whole. Up against Michael Collins, Mary Robinson, James Connolly and Bono he was a worthy winner. Here is what the man himself said about the accolade:
‘I am very proud that people across Ireland took the time to vote for me and I appreciate it greatly.
‘This award obviously recognises the contribution of my wife and family over many years as well as others who worked with me.’
‘I can only thank people in Derry and across the country for taking the time to vote for me.’
Adding that the tag of Ireland’s Greatest could have been given to all men and women who had campaigned for peace throughout the island.
The remains of a car which exploded in Derry/Londonderry on 3 August 2010.
The news that there has been a bomb in Londonderry comes just as I was turning in for the night. The Police Service of Northern Ireland is warning that there will be traffic disruption on Tuesday morning.
This is the second bomb near the area of Strand Road / Culmore Road in two months. The first was on 3 August outside Strand Road PSNI station. Tonight’s exploded outside the Da Vinci centre on Culmore Road, and has caused damage to many shops and local businesses.
Although, at the time of writing, there appears to have been no claiming of this attack, it seems pretty clear that it will be the work of the so-called dissident republican terrorists.
It is clear that they feel threatened by how Northern Ireland has changed, by how we have moved on so that the politicians elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly are working together for the betterment of the whole community.
That self same community of Northern Ireland needs to stand up and join me in saying
Enough is enough.
I urge anyone with any information about tonight’s attack to contact the Police Service of Northern Ireland on
Congratulations to Foyle Pride for their inaugural Pride March in Derry/Londonderry on Saturday, 28 September 2010. Despite not having a banner of our own, some members of NI LibDems were present in differing guises.
From Railway Station to Guildhall via a walled city... Foyle Pride 2010
The parade, which followed the route of 1968 Civil Rights March, travelled from Waterside Railway Station across the Craigavon Bridge and into the city, through the Diamond and then it was fantastic to see the rainbow flag going down Shipquay Street from the walled city out into Guildhall Square.
There were many horns blaring in support from the motorists on the Craigavon Bridge who were heading in the other direction. This together with the friendly atmosphere in Guildhall Square made the day very enjoyable.