Belfast Telegraph

I'll beat these bullies'
Besieged ex-mayor Pat Ramsay vows to stand up to terrorists

By Brendan McDaid
24 July 2004

FORMER Londonderry mayor Pat Ramsey today vowed to stand up to the terrorists who are attempting to drive him out of public life.

The chairman of the local District Policing Partnership (DPP) and former SDLP leader John Hume today led a wave of cross-community support for the persecuted SDLP MLA.

In today's Belfast Telegraph Mr Ramsey speaks frankly of how he and his family have been trapped in a nightmare of bomb scares, gas attacks, death threats and verbal abuse.

He speaks of his panic and anger at finding his three-year-old daughter choking after masked men entered his offices and sprayed noxious fumes earlier this week.

He also reveals his sadness at having his faith mocked when he received a sympathy card in the post with white powder inside, two days later.

Mr Ramsey tells of his determination to remain in politics, despite the attacks.

And he says he has received support from all sections of the community across Ulster and beyond.

"Every ounce of my flesh, every drop of my blood wants to stay in politics and the massive support is making me more determined that what I am doing is helping people," he says.

Mr Hume today added his voice to the wave of condemnation, branding the attackers "sick".

He said: "Pat Ramsey have been singled out in these appalling and worrying attacks and I have no doubt that the entire population will be sickened by them.

"Pat and his family have been placed under a great deal of stress by these attacks and they have to stop."

The chairperson of the Foyle DPP also registered the body's firm support for Mr Ramsay.

DUP member Mildred Garfield said: "On behalf of the local DPP, I completely condemn this latest attack.

"This is a series of stressful and disturbing attacks and all such attacks must be condemned."

Ms Garfield said that intimidation would not be allowed to halt progress.

"It will not deter us from carrying out important work and members of the Derry DPP will continue to play an important role in bringing about change to our society," she said, adding: "I would appeal to members of the public to continue to support us in our efforts to create strong community relations and a safer society for everyone.

"I would also encourage all members of DPPs to be extra vigilant at this time."

Meanwhile, police today said that forensic tests on the substances used in both attacks were still ongoing.

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