DISSIDENT REPUBLICAN COUNCILLOR BLAMES PSNI OVER HOTEL ATTACK

The bombed out entrance of the Everglades Hotel

The bombed out entrance of the Everglades Hotel

THE Real IRA leader who was elected a councillor last week says the PSNI “must bear responsibility” for this morning’s firebomb attack on the Everglades Hotel in Derry.

The lobby of the Waterside Hotel was extensively damaged after the device exploded at around 2.00am.

Staff and over 50 guests were evacuated from the hotel after a masked man placed the device, which was in a holdhall, on the reception desk at around 11.15pm and told staff he was from the IRA and they had 40 minutes to get out.

According to local police commander, Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin, the device “burst into a ball of flames” as a British army bomb disposal expert was about to examine it.

No one was injured in the incident.

It is believed the hotel was targeted as it recently hosted a PSNI recruitment event.

Speaking this evening to Derry Daily, Cllr Donnelly, a well-known dissident republican supporter and prominent member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement who last week was elected as an Independent onto the new Derry City and Strabane District Council, said the PSNI “bore a responsibility” for the attack.

He said: “The first thing I knew about it was when I woke this morning and heard it on the radio.

“There is a responsibility on those carrying out such attacks to ensure no members of the public are injured.”

Dissident republican councillor Gary Donnelly

Dissident republican councillor Gary Donnelly

He added: “The PSNI must take responsibility for using public venues for recruitment and promoting propaganda.”

However, security sources said the PSNI bore no responsibility for the attack.

“The PSNI did not plant this device.”

Extra resources were requested by Derry firefighters to tackle the blaze which followed the firebomb explosion at the Everglades Hotel in the city in the early hours of this morning, it has emerged.

No one was injured when the device which, according to local police commander Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin, “burst into balls of flames” as it was being examined by a British army bomb disposal expert at around 2.00am.

The device had been placed in the hotel’s reception by a masked man at around 11.15pm last night.

Staff have been praised for their handling of the evacuation of over 50 guests.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service revealed city firefighters from Crescent Link and Northland Road fire stations were joined by crews from Strabane, Limavady and Castlederg in tackling the blaze.

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