Martin McGuinness warned of death threat

Thursday 07 March 2013 17.24
Martin McGuinness (R), pictured with Peter Robinson, says he will defend the peace process from attack from whatever quarter
Martin McGuinness (R), pictured with Peter Robinson, says he will defend the peace process from attack from whatever quarter

Police have warned Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of a "real and active" threat against his life from dissident republicans.

Mr McGuinness said detectives have linked the development to his condemnation of a mortar bomb find in his native Derry on Sunday night and other remarks he made in support of the PSNI.

He said he was informed of the threat by a senior PSNI officer last night.

Mr McGuinness insisted that he would not be silenced by the dissidents.

He said: "Both myself and the PSNI are taking this threat seriously.

"However there are times when in political leadership staying silent is not an option, and I will not be silenced by threats like this."

He said he would "defend the peace process from attack from whatever quarter, be it these groups or the loyalist flag protesters over recent months".

"It says much about the mentality of those controlling groups like the one behind the threat that in their warped logic threatening Irish republicans and their families somehow advances the cause of Irish reunification.

"I am very sure of the ground I stand on.

“I am also very sure that it is the path shared by republicans across this island genuinely interested in building a new agreed Ireland, republicans who put Ireland before ego, criminality and self gain."

The death threat is the latest in a recent spate against politicians in Northern Ireland.

Elected representatives from across the political divide have been subject to similar intimidation, from extremists on both sides, during the ongoing Union flag controversy in Northern Ireland.

Yesterday, SDLP Assembly member Conall McDevitt said he had received a bullet and sympathy card in the post.

Mr McDevitt, a south Belfast representative, also said he would not be deterred by the development.

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