SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat has described the latest attack on the home of Coleraine’s DUP Mayor as an ‘attack on the whole of society’.
Mr Dallat said: “George Duddy is the First Citizen of Coleraine. He has a right and deserves to be allowed to carry out that task without fear or intimation of any kind.
“Those involved are not democrats but very dangerous people because they are in effect undermining the very democracy which civil rights leaders in the past worked for – the right to free speech.
“The culprits are also working against the very good people in churches, community groups, clubs and societies as well as the local council to build bridges, heal the hurt of the past and repair the damage done by mindless people before who thought they could create a new society through sectarianism and bigotry.
“Attacks on people’s homes in the distant past are but a bad dream of the days when more than 200 pipe bombs rained down on the homes of innocent people. These current attacks are on the fabric of Mr Duddy’s home but they do cause personal hurt to the Duddy family. They have my prayers and sympathy and the hope that this criminal activity should cease. This kind of behaviour should not be taking place in a normal society and especially in a town where people know better than most what it is like to have their homes attacked.
“My SDLP council colleagues Stephanie Quigley, Maura Hickey and Roisin Loftus have raised this issue on several occasions with the police and we renew our appeal to the general public to help the PSNI catch those involved. We need to be mindful that the intelligence the police relies on comes from the general public and is only as good as the level of cooperation they get when dealing with cowards that come in the dark of night to attack homes. We should also be mindful that we have a duty to support the police in their everyday duties of protecting life and property.”