Page last updated at 09:58 GMT, Monday, 12 April 2010 10:58 UK

Northern Ireland MI5 HQ car bomb: political reaction

People moved from their homes after Army base bomb
Up to 60 people were moved from their homes

Politicians have been giving their reaction to a car bomb which exploded outside MI5's headquarters in Northern Ireland.

The explosion at about 0020 BST on Monday at Palace Barracks in Holywood, County Down, happened on the same day that policing and justice powers were formally transferred from London to Belfast.

SHAUN WOODWARD, NORTHERN IRELAND SECRETARY

"Today, Northern Ireland will complete devolution with the transfer of policing and justice powers to Stormont.

"That democratic transition stands in stark contrast to the activity of a criminal few who will not accept the will of the majority of people of Northern Ireland.

"They have no support anywhere."

PETER ROBINSON, NORTHERN IRELAND FIRST MINISTER

"It's the same shameless, reckless attempt to take Northern Ireland back.

"It defines very clearly for the people of Northern Ireland the choice between the bloody and dark past we have come through or moving forward and making stability, peace and prosperity the priority.

"There's no question about why the target was chosen or its timing - it's an attempt to intimidate assembly members as they meet today to move forward on policing and justice."

MARTIN MCGUINNESS, NORTHERN IRELAND DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER

"We know there are people out there who are opposed to the peace process and political progress, but I think the best answer to those people is for the political process to remain in the driving seat.

"What's happening today clearly shows that the political process is in the driving seat and we will not be deflected.

"It is a truly historic day - people out there who would like to destroy the peace process are not going to succeed because of the strength of the political process we have built up over recent years."

ALBAN MAGINNESS, SDLP ASSEMBLY MEMBER

"Let's have a dialogue with dissident republicans on a political basis and examine their arguments.

"Let us put to them the contrary argument that we do have political structures that can accommodate them and everybody else, and that they've got a role to play in those structures, both formally and informally.

"If they really want to progress the republican ideal, and there's nothing wrong with that, they have to do it through democratic politics."

BASIL MCCREA, ULSTER UNIONIST ASSEMBLY MEMBER

"The warning was given and the attack alarms went off, but it is obviously a significant device.

"It's obviously people trying to make a statement about the transfer of policing and justice powers.

"We are going to have to expect more of this over the next period of time. The devolution was never going to be straightforward and easy. There will be people who will try to disrupt the process."



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