Northern Irish politicians have condemned the posting of a bullet to a pregnant nationalist lawmaker.
Northern Irish police are investigating the incident, in which a bullet was sent to Nichola Mallon, tthe Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)’s candidate for North Belfast in upcoming elections, the Belfast Telegraph reported.
Mallon is due to give birth to her second child in May.
The lawmaker has recently criticised grants made by the Northern Irish Government’s Social Investment Fund including a grant of £1.7 million to Charter NI, an organisation set up to help former loyalist prisoners, headed by Dee Stitt, a former loyalist paramilitary.
"As someone who has stood before the electorate and been elected to represent the people of North Belfast, I am entitled to ask questions about how public money is being spent," Mallon said.
"It is an affront to democracy that thugs and paramilitaries react to these legitimate questions by threatening and attempting to intimidate me. Like many others in the SDLP before me, I will not be bullied into silence."
Naomi Long, leader of the Alliance Party, said: "I'm totally shocked by this threat and those who are behind it should be ashamed of themselves.
“It is completely unacceptable that a young mother who is pregnant should be put under this stress. I know personally what a frightening experience it is and the stress it places on your wider family."
Alban Maginness, a former occupant of Mallon’s seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly, said: "It is outrageous that Nichola Mallon has been sent a bullet in the post… she has done so much to help people in the area and to promote peace and reconciliation in our society.”