“This is a horrific attack on people relaxing and having a good time. Our thoughts are with the people of Orlando and in particular the victims and survivors of this attack and their families. Indeed, Orlando is a part of the United States that many people from Northern Ireland will be familiar with.
“This was more than just an attack on the individuals but an attack on the values of an open, liberal, and diverse society. It is a reminder that around the world that many people continue to attacked or persecuted for their sexual orientation.
“It is vital that this attack is now properly investigated. Whatever the warped motivation of the suspect, it is important that one manifestation of prejudice does not lead to a different form of prejudice based on religion becoming reinforced.”