West Tyrone SDLP candidate ‘facing intimidation’

Daniel McCrossan says he is confident he will retain his seat in West Tyrone
Daniel McCrossan says he is confident he will retain his seat in West Tyrone

The sole SDLP candidate in West Tyrone says he is running a gauntlet of intimidation in his election campaign.

Daniel McCrossan, who was a member of the recently collapsed Assembly, says the intimidation began after the latest election was announced.

He believes tensions are running high because one seat is going to be lost to the constituency, as is happening across Northern Ireland.

“It started with graffiti on my posters or them being taken down, along with abuse on social media and letters in the post.

“Female SDLP activists in particular are being targeted for abuse during the campaign, with typically vulgar and violent language and intimidation, such as ‘you are not welcome here ... there is no support for you here’.”

He related one occasion when he stopped to go to a shop in Omagh and a man stood in front of him, saying: “What are you doing here you scumbag? We know how to deal with boys like you. You will get your comeuppance.”

Photographs of his car have been posted on social media, which gives some cause for concern as he is a member of the Policing Board, he said.

“It is petty and I have a thick enough skin but it is just unfortunate some people cannot respect the democratic process. However, I am confident we will retain the seat in West Tyrone.”

He has not reported the behaviour to police as they have “more important things to do”, he added.