Northern Ireland news

Loyalists issue threat against Sinn Féin's new Belfast mayor John Finucane

Newly-elected Sinn Féin councillor John Finucane as the new lord mayor of Belfast on the way out to meet the press at Belfast City Hall Pcture by Hugh Russell

BELFAST'S new Sinn Féin mayor John Finucane has said police have warned him of a threat by loyalists to attack him in his family home.

Mr Finucane is the son of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane who was murdered at his home by loyalist paramilitaries in 1986.

The gunmen were later found to be colluding with rogue security force members.

The mayor, who was elected to Belfast City Council earlier this month, said police came to his home last night to warn him of the threat.

Mr Finucane said: “I am committed to serving and representing all the people of this city and I will not be deterred from that by threats from anyone. 

“This is not just a threat against me but it is also a threat against democracy.”

Mr Finucane has previously said that as mayor he intends to reach out to the unionist community, and would meet members of the royal family and attend Orange events if invited.

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly described the threat against Mr Finucane as "reprehensible".

"The reference to his family home was clearly deliberate, given this is where his father was murdered by loyalists," he said.

“It is a cowardly attempt to intimidate the newly-elected first citizen of Belfast.

"hile this must be a very traumatic experience for John and his family, I know that he will not be deterred from representing everyone as Ard Mhéara.”

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