Coronavirus

Calls for dissidents to stop all actions in the middle of pandemic

Harry Maguire of Community Restorative Justice.

CALLS have been made for dissident republican groups to cease all activities, rather than continuing to divert frontline resources from the coronavirus health crisis.

Director of Community Restorative Justice Ireland Harry Maguire said community workers were continuing to be placed under threat from "anti-peace process armed republicans".

He said it "defies logic that threats, violence and intimidation" are still happening in the midst of the global pandemic.

"Threats of any nature are wrong and should stop immediately. More so in the climate of the current health crisis," he said.

"If ever there was a time for such groups to leave the stage, it is now."

In February police called to the home of Mr Maguire's partner to warn of threats to his life just hours before reports of an explosion close to his elderly mother's house.

A number of other senior republicans including Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O'Neill and MLA Gerry Kelly also received threats from the so called 'New IRA'.

"There are plans being formulated to try and respond to what could be a substantial number of deaths because of the virus.

"These plans include all first responders across this Island.

"This public health crisis does not and will not recognise borders, religion or political

allegiance.

"It is inconceivable that in the midst of this crisis, PSNI / Gardaí, our health professionals across the island, and organsiations such as CRJI, should have resources tied up in dealing with the activities of armed groups in our communities.

"We would call on all armed groups to cease all activities and make a public statement to that effect", he added.

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