Northern Ireland news

Senior Derry academic Deirdre Heenan hits back at Labour MP Kate Hoey after bomb tweet

Professor Deirdre Heenan is based at Ulster University's Magee campus in Derry

A SENIOR academic has hit back at a Labour MP who questioned comments about Sunday night's car bomb attack in Derry.

Deirdre Heenan, a Professor of Social Policy based at Ulster University's Magee campus in the city, tweeted a direct message to Prime Minister Theresa May following the bombing.

"Dear @theresa_may, Two years of no government, decay, stagnation and we are poised to bear the brunt of #Brexit," she said.

"Complete disinterest from your government and acceptance of the political stasis. Frankly, this is a dereliction of duty and we deserve better. #DerryBomb."

Co Antrim-born Labour MP Kate Hoey, a leading Brexiteer, replied that the dissident republican attack had nothing to do with the prime minister.

She tweeted: "Deirdre Would you not be better condemning those who planted the bomb rather than pretend it has anything to with @theresa_may".

DUP MLA Christopher Stalford also criticised the tweet.

"Theresa May is in some way to blame for Republicans planting bombs in Londonderry now," he said. "If there is a logic here, it's tortured."

In a reply to Ms Hoey's tweet, Prof Heenan, a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor at UU said she was not excusing the bombers.

"Kate. Be in no doubt, I utterly condemn those who planted the bomb. Violence is and has always been inexcusable," she tweeted.

"In the words of former SOS (Secretary of State) the late, Dr Mo Mowlam. 'We cannot afford to allow a political vacuum to develop which those wedded to violence would be happy to fill'. "

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