Tonight’s bomb attack on Belfast City Centre and on the people of Belfast is absolutely deplorable. This was a reckless attack aimed at a busy entertainment area of the city. On one of busiest nights of the year with people enjoying the festivities ahead of Christmas, as well as all those in the final stages of Christmas shopping, it shows that these terrorists are stooping to a new low.
This small minority want to drain the economic life from Belfast - but we will not let them succeed. Earlier this week I appealed to the general public to remain vigilant and after tonight’s attack, I would reinforce the importance of working with the PSNI and reporting any suspicious activities, no matter how small.