Patsy mcglone 545315t

SDLP pol gets bullet in mail

By Anthony Neeson

An SDLP politician is the latest member of a political party in Northern Ireland to receive a bullet in the mail.

A letter addressed to Mid-Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone was intercepted at the Royal Mail sorting office in Mallusk, County Antrim. It contained a bullet and a sympathy card.

Mr. McGlone is just the latest politician from his own party, Sinn Féin and Alliance to receive a death warning since loyalists took to the streets after Belfast City Council voted not to fly the Union flag all year round. Sinn Féin, the SDLP and Alliance voted to remove the flag.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

Mr. McGlone described those behind the threat as "faceless fascists."

He added: "This is obviously not something that is a pleasant experience, for me or my family; however, those who sent it will not put me off doing my job - that is representing the people of Mid Ulster. I would like to pay tribute to the staff at the Post Office and the PSNI for their professionalism and vigilance in dealing with this matter. I will leave this in the hands of the CID.

"I'm acutely aware that a number of other elected representatives - from my own party and others - have had similar threats and attacks on their homes and properties, they have come through this and I will come through this stronger. Democracy will come through this stronger.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists said that a letter containing a bullet had been addressed to a Belfast-based newspaper reporter.

The NUJ said it was intercepted by the PSNI and was sent following the journalist's reporting of the loyalist rioting.

Alliance MP Naomi Long, party leader David Ford and councilor Gerardine Mulvenna are among those sent bullets in the post since the flag dispute erupted. Sinn Fein MLAs Gerry Kelly and Alex Maskey also received letters containing bullets.