Republic of Ireland news

Paramilitaries pose `real threat' warns Charlie Flanagan

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan

THE Republic's justice minister Charlie Flanagan has warned that paramilitaries continue to pose a "real threat".

Speaking at a conference on policing, Mr Flanagan said the murder of Lyra McKee was a tragic reminder of the persistent security threat from dissidents.

The conference at NUI Galway was attended by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris as well as experts in the fields of human rights, policing oversight and national security.

Mr Flanagan said Ireland faced threats from international terrorism more than at any time in the past.

"Sadly, the more traditional security threat remains," he added.

"The senseless and horrifying killing of Lyra McKee in Derry is a tragic reminder of the real and persistent security threat from republican paramilitaries. Those who killed her had no thought whatsoever for the human rights or the democratic wishes of the communities they cynically purport to represent or defend."

Mr Flanagan told those gathered that he was sending a clear message to "terrorists and their fellow travellers".

"Your wish to drag this island back to a dark and bloody past will not succeed because our resolute commitment to peace, democracy and fundamental rights will never be diminished," he said.

"We, like so many others over the past few days, stand with Lyra."

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