Northern Irish politician faces renewed racist threats

Michael McHugh,Press Association
Sunday 23 October 2011 03:04

More racist threats have been made against Northern Ireland's only Asian Assembly member.

Anna Lo vowed not to let bigots intimidate her after she was warned off a meeting with a cross-community church group in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, last night. She went ahead with the event at a hotel but there was a heavy police presence.

Earlier this year Catholic community worker Kevin McDaid, 49, was beaten to death by a loyalist mob in the town.

Ms Lo asked: "Are we becoming really lawless now that we have people who think that they can disrupt and threaten any groups in promoting good community relations here?

"They obviously don't want good community relations."

She addressed the annual general meeting of the Coleraine Borough Churches Forum. The threats were received by the hotel the day before, claiming there would be attacks on her and the group if it went ahead.

The South Belfast Alliance Party Assembly member, originally from Hong Kong, added: "I think really it is very sad that we still have elements in our society, people like that, who want to disrupt a very good organisation that aims to bring together all the churches and work on healing cross-community relations.

"For them to try and threaten them and disrupt them ... I am very pleased that the groups decided to go on ahead and not be deterred by thugs like those people who made the threat and certainly that will not stop me in promoting community relations."

She was threatened before when more than 100 Roma Romanians were forced to flee after their homes in south Belfast were attacked by racists.

"There is a huge vacuum in dealing with divisions in our society and the (ministerial) Executive needs to redouble its efforts in addressing this issue," she added.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments