Sinn Fein’s solitary Ballymena councillor, Monica Digney, has been the subject of a sustained campaign of intimidation since becoming the party’s first elected representative for the town. Earlier today, her car- and that of another north Antrim party councillor, Anita Cavlan- was the subject of a bomb hoax alert, which she confirmed as the fifth or sixth threat she has recieved in just over a year, the most recent being just four weeks ago.
Political representatives of all hues are periodically subjected to such threats, and all are equally deplorable. But the threats against Monica Digney- and now Anita Cavlan, from neighbouring Ballymoney Council- fall into a pattern of loyalist targeting of Sinn Fein councillors on majority unionist councils.
Since gaining election 15 months ago, threats have been made and/or attacks carried out against councillors Dessie Ward (Banbridge), Billy Leonard (Coleraine), Monica Digney (Ballymena) and Anita Cavlan (Ballymoney), while in Lisburn, a sustained campaign of attacks on the homes of Sinn Fein’s councillors continued right up to 2005. In Coleraine, a list of residents believed to have signed Billy Leonard’s nomination papers was posted on walls in the town, whilst a number of individuals on the list had their homes attacked and threats made against them.