REPORTS OF attempted bomb attacks on two political offices in Belfast are being investigated by the PSNI.
The offices targeted are those of SDLP MLA Nichola Mallon in North Belfast and Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey in West Belfast.
Commenting on the reports, senior Irish politicians, including Secretary of State Brandon Lewis and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, took to twitter to condemn the act.
Mr Coveney wrote: "No politician should face this kind of discrimination”.
He went on to describe the incidents as the "latest in a series of cowardly and despicable attempts at intimidation against public representatives from many different parties in Northern Ireland.
"Such threats against elected public reps, journalists, their staff and families is utterly unacceptable”, Mr Coveney said.
It’s the latest in a series of cowardly & despicable attempts at intimidation against public representatives from many different parties in Northern Ireland. Such threats against elected public reps, journalists, their staff & families is utterly unacceptable.
Solidarity 🇮🇪🇬🇧 https://t.co/gLHlvGZgqD
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) February 23, 2021
Ms Mallon, who is currently serving as Minister for Infrastructure, said she will not be deterred by the incident.
"I want to make it clear that neither I nor my party will be intimidated or deterred by those responsible," she said.
"We are committed to representing people in North Belfast and in every community across Northern Ireland."
Earlier the PSNI contacted my office in North Belfast following a report that an explosive device had been left outside. Let me be clear - neither I or my party will be intimidated or deterred by those responsible. We will continue to represent people in North Belfast & across NI
— Nichola Mallon (@NicholaMallon) February 23, 2021
Mr Maskey said that the reports of an explosive device found at his office were "very concerning" and condemned those responsible.
"They have nothing to offer society and they bring nothing but disruption to the local area," he said.
"This is an attack on the entire community and an attempt to undermine democracy but it will not succeed.
"Sinn Féin will not be deterred by these types of incidents and will continue to serve the entire community."
— Sinn Féin (@sinnfeinireland) February 23, 2021
PSNI Chief Inspector Peter Brannigan said: "Information was received to suggest devices may have been thrown at an office on Falls Road, Belfast, and police are seeking to establish the veracity of this information.
"The local community is asked to be vigilant and report anything out of the ordinary to police."