Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has said workers at Larne Port should be able to go back to work immediately to ensure the movement of goods through the port.
Philip McGuigan was speaking following a briefing from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) permanent secretary at today’s committee meeting.
The North Antrim MLA said:
“The priority must be to see the safe return of workers to Larne Port.
“I am deeply concerned after the evidence from the permanent secretary of the Department, that despite genuine fears caused by disgraceful graffiti, the decision to remove staff from Larne ports may have been politically motivated.
“The police have clearly put their assessment of any threat level into the public domain and it consists of graffiti and social media activity. They have stated they have no evidence beyond that, and refuted claims made at a Mid and East Antrim Council meeting.
“I found it astonishing to hear that the then Minister had said that he ‘wasn’t convinced the PSNI had a full understanding of the issue’. Edwin Poots now needs to explain what then he did base his decision on.
“The protection of staff is undoubtedly a priority and given the information received at today’s meeting, Mid and East Antrim Council should act immediately to get workers back to work safely and I call on DAERA to do likewise to ensure the movement of goods through the port.”