Northern Ireland

Mary McAleese hits out at dissident republicans

Mary McAleese, Queen Beatrix and Martin McAleese
Image caption Mary McAleese, Queen Beatrix and Martin McAleese at the Noordeinde Palace

Irish President Mary McAleese has hit out at dissident republicans during an official visit to the Netherlands.

Mrs McAleese described them as "the tail end of a very old, tired, failed culture of trying to resolve political problems through paramilitarism".

She urged those intent on violence to "listen to the will of 99.99% of the people who want our problems solved in a dignified and decent way".

She said political dialogue would resolve differences, "not bullying".

The president was speaking at a lunch reception at the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague hosted by the Dutch Queen Beatrix.

Dissident republicans have been responsible for a number of attacks in Northern Ireland this year, including the murder of PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr in Omagh at the start of April.

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