Mayor brands travel warning an 'over-reaction'

THE Mayor of Londonderry has branded Canberra's travel warning to Australian citizens visiting Northern Ireland an over-reaction.

Mayor Colum Eastwood said the decision played into the hands of “so-called dissidents.”

He also warned that in the current economic climate Londonderry must be promoted as a tourist destination.

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He said: “The decision by the Australian government to warn its citizens about visiting Northern Ireland seems to be somewhat of an over-reaction.

“It is the stated aim of dissident republicans to destabilise the peace and this type of advice plays right into their hands.

“The dissidents are the enemies of peace, enemies of reconciliation and the enemies of prosperity in Ireland and they must be stopped.

“The unequivocal rejection of their actions by our community combined with accountable and intelligence-led policing by the PSNI is the most effective way of combating their sinister and potentially deadly activities.”

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He added: “The North-West in particular has so much to offer to foreign visitors such as the Derry walls and the Giants Causeway. These are just some of the world-class attractions we can showcase here.

“Indeed, it is vital we continue to stress that beyond any doubt Derry is open for business.”