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I will speak on behalf of the SDLP and the many constituents who contacted me last night to express their shock and anger at the despicable gun attack on an officer out on duty, trying to serve and protect our community. I add my voice to the unreserved condemnation of that attack, and I urge anyone with any information, no matter how small it may seem, to please pass that on to the PSNI.
I express in the House today my best wishes to and my concern for that police officer. Indeed, last night, when I spoke with his colleagues at local and senior level, I asked that those wishes be passed on and the wishes of the people, many of them in Ardoyne and right across north Belfast, who contacted me last night to ask that I would do that on their behalf.
Many issues divide us in the House, but it is clear today that there is an issue that unites us, and that is our unreserved condemnation of what took place last night. The truth is that violence has no place in our society. All it serves to do is to create heartache, pain and suffering. As each and every one of us in the House knows, there are far too many families in our constituencies who endure that pain and suffering daily. So, I think that it is right that we stand united and send that very strong message to those who were behind the attack last night, but, importantly, to the people right across north Belfast. We will stand against this; we will stand opposed to this; and we will stand up for those who deserve it.