Northern Ireland news

Bullet sent to Co Antrim councillor Padraig McShane

Causeway Coast and Glens independent councillor Padraig McShane pictured with his solicitor Michael Brentnall
Connla Young

POLICE have contacted an independent councillor in Co Antrim after a bullet was intercepted in the post.

Padraig McShane is understood to have been told about the sinister development when police visited his home on Sunday morning.

It is believed the bullet, which was detected at a Royal Mail sorting office, was addressed to Mr McShane at Causeway Coast and Glens council.

His solicitor Michael Brentnall said: “My client has endured consistent and numerous threats and violence as result of his work as an independent councillor.

“Our office shall be making further enquiries with the PSNI with regard to the nature and origin of this threat.”

A spokeswoman for the PSNI said: “We do not discuss the security of individuals.

“However, if we receive information that a person’s life may be at risk, we will inform them accordingly.

“We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk. No inference should be drawn from this.”

While it is not yet known who sent the bullet, the high-profile councillor has been singled out by loyalists in the past.

In 2014 his family home in Ballycastle was targeted by arsonists in an attack blamed on the UDA.

Last month lawyers for Mr McShane vowed to take a legal challenge to Europe after he was suspended from the council for three months in a row over flags.

An effigy of Padraig McShane placed on a bonfire in Co Antrim in 2015

In 2015 he was pictured with a tricolour and Palestinian flag at the council's Coleraine headquarters and a DUP councillor later lodged a complaint with the Northern Ireland Local Government Commissioner for Standards, which ruled he had breached the councillors' code of conduct.

Pictured along with him were Derry-based independent councillors Gary Donnelly and Darren O'Reilly, and visiting Gaza official Mohamed Al-Halabi.

In July 2015 a straw-filled effigy of some of those involved, including Mr McShane, was added to a Twelfth bonfire at Bushmills.

The previous year he was visited by police after a death threat written on a tricolour was hung from a loyalist bonfire in nearby Dervock.

The picture taken at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council's Coleraine headquarters

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