Second death threat in N Ireland flag row
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
A woman walks past a mural of flags in Belfast. Loyalists have held protests in Ireland since the Belfast city council’s decision not to fly the British flag. REUTERS photoA second Northern Ireland lawmaker received a death threat on Dec. 11 as tensions continued to mount over the Belfast city council’s decision not to fly the British flag all year round.
Democratic Unionist Party member Jeffrey Donaldson was told by police that he, his family and a DUP minister in Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government had been threatened. “Police this morning received a serious threat to the effect that I, my wife, children and my colleague Edwin Poots, his wife and children would be shot, and the police are treating this threat very seriously,” said Donaldson.
“Whatever they may think of my politics as a unionist and someone who is proud to be British, it is beyond belief that people would target my wife and children in this way,” he added. “I won’t be intimidated by these threats, just as I have not been intimidated by such threats in the past, but this is the first time my family has been threatened.”
Rioters on Dec. 10 threw petrol bombs at police on the Upper Newtownards Road near the offices of the east Belfast lawmaker Naomi Long, a member of the non-sectarian Alliance Party who has also been warned her life is under threat. Police said they were treating the attack as attempted murder.
Tensions have risen in the British province since councilors voted on Dec. 3 to limit the number of days the Union Jack can fly over the City Hall to 17, outraging loyalists who believe Northern Ireland should retain strong links to Britain.