Northern Ireland

Republican dissidents threaten to kill McGuinness

Martin McGuinness
Image caption Martin McGuinness said he would not be silenced by the threat to his life

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has revealed that he is under a death threat from dissident republicans in Londonderry.

Mr McGuinness said police officers who came to his home on Wednesday evening told him of the threat.

He said he has been targeted because of his condemnation of the recent attempted mortar attack in the city and remarks he made in support of the PSNI.

"Both myself and the PSNI are taking this threat seriously," he said.

The deputy first minister said a senior PSNI officer informed him of "a real and active threat against his life from a dissident group in Derry city".

'Attack'

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

"I will defend the peace process from attack from whatever quarter, be it these groups or the loyalist flag protesters over recent months."

Mr McGuinness criticised the "warped logic" of those who believed that threatening republicans could "somehow advance 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," he said.

Elected representatives from several political parties in Northern Ireland, including the SDLP, Alliance, Sinn Fein and the DUP, were the subject of death threats following a controversial vote over the union flag at the end of last year.

South Belfast SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt received a bullet and sympathy card, through the post on Wednesday.

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