NI: Justice Ministers condemn shooting of police officer

Justice Minister Claire Sugden
Justice Minister Claire Sugden

Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister Claire Sugden and Ireland’s Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald have condemned the shooting of a police officer in Belfast last night.

The officer was hit twice in the arm by automatic gunfire from a car on the Crumlin Road.

A 36-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the attack, and police say they are investigating a possible connection to “violent dissident republicans”.

Ms Sugden said: “The people who carried out this shooting did so with the sole intention of dragging Northern Ireland back to darker days.

“This is a sickening act which could easily have lead to a loss of life. My thoughts are with the police officer and his family at this time and indeed, with the wider PSNI family who will be shocked and saddened by this incident.”

She added: “There can be no tolerance of ‎this horrific and reprehensible behaviour in our society. This is not what we want for the future of Northern Ireland and I condemn it whole-heartedly.”

Ms Fitzgerald said: “This is a stark reminder that there are still those on this island who want to set aside the democratically expressed will of all the people on this island, and engage in a senseless and barbaric campaign of terrorist violence.

“I am aware from regular briefings that An Garda Síochána work seamlessly with their colleagues in the Police Service of Northern Ireland to counteract this threat from terrorists and I have no doubt that tonight’s attack will reinforce their strong resolve in this regard.

“All right thinking people will join me in supporting them and wishing the victim of tonight’s attack a full recovery, and assuring him of the support of the community he serves.”

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