This time, Sinn Fein in Bangor has got some local resource and something of a party presence. We know that in part because of the wilder elements of loyalism have been issuing threats for the party daring to show its democratic face in the town.
Now they’ve gone a step further and have petrol bombed their election agents car:
Around 10.30pm on Monday a petrol bomb was thrown through a smashed window of a black Citroen C4 Picasso in Towerview Crescent. The car was destroyed. Two masked men were seen in the area at the time. Police are treating the incident as a hate crime.
Michelle O’Neill wasted no time in pivoting:
This is an attack on the democratic process but it will not deter the local candidate or anyone else in Sinn Fein. There are clearly those who are intent on turning this into a brutal campaign and sectarianising the election.
UPDATE: DUP statement is pretty unambiguous:
“We are totally opposed to all forms of violence and criminality and would condemn this attack on a car in the Towerview area of Bangor.
There is no place for this type of activity and such an attack is undermining the democratic system and will not be tolerated by the people of North Down.
Any attack on a property or on an individual is wrong, regardless of who owns the property and we would appeal to anyone with any information to contact the PSNI.”
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty