Warning that dissidents are raising tensions in Northern Ireland

A senior member of Sinn Fein has warned that dissident republicans are deliberately raising tensions in Londonderry ahead of a major loyalist parade in the city.

A senior member of Sinn Fein has warned that dissident republicans are deliberately raising tensions in Londonderry ahead of a major loyalist parade in the city.

Ahead of a march on the 14th by the loyalist Apprentice Boys, Gerry Kelly MLA, Sinn Fein spokesman on policing and justice issues and a junior minister in the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers, has raised concerns over so called “feeder parades” which will, on their way to Derry city, pass the Ardoyne area of Belfast, the scene of violent riots last month.

Expressing his concerns, Mr Kelly warned:

“We think that it (the August 14 march past Ardoyne) should not go down without the Apprentice Boys talking to the residents and that has not happened for some time now. These things are being used by certain other groups to ‘wind up’ the situation. People need space.

“The dissident groups are trying to use these issues.”

The comments have come after more than two hours of talks in Belfast earlier this week between Sinn Fein and the North and West Belfast Parades Forum, representing organisers of loyalist parades. It was the first meeting of its kind in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the Ardoyne riots.

Commenting after the meeting, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams concluded:

“I found it a very useful exchange. We listened very, very intently to what our friends had to say about all of these issues and their sense of themselves and their sense of their section of our community in this city of Belfast.

“We are not going to sort all of this out in one meeting, these are big issues, and we have to remind ourselves of where we have all come from and how difficult this process of society building and transition is for everyone.”

For the Parades Forum, Tommy Cheevers struck an optimistic note, commenting:

“We did not know if we would be here for two minutes or twenty minutes and I think that shows that everyone was prepared to take whatever time it took.”

Meanwhile, Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris of the Police Service of Northern Ireland has warned that it is only a matter of time before another police officer is killed as a result of dissident republican activity.

His comments came after a 200lb bomb was exploded outside a Londonderry police station, which damaged local businesses though, did not kill or injure anyone. It is reported that a taxi driver was forced at gun point to drive the device to its intended destination.

In a joint statement with First Minister, Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuniess responded:

“This is a futile and cynical attempt to try to take us back to conflict and division. We will not allow them to do so. The people clearly support the institutions and we will remain united in our resolve to work together for the greater good.”

4 Responses to “Warning that dissidents are raising tensions in Northern Ireland”

  1. Shamik Das

    Northern Ireland latest from @leftfootfwd: Warning that dissidents are raising tensions in Northern Ireland: //bit.ly/axdas0

  2. Liz McShane

    Ed – unfortunately it’s not just Derry……there was a car bomb attack in my home town (Bangor) this am….

    //www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-10864557

  3. Guppi Bola

    RT @leftfootfwd: Warning that dissidents are raising tensions in Northern Ireland: //bit.ly/axdas0

  4. Ed Jacobs

    Yes, I understand Liz – the news came after I’d filed my article. It is however good to see political parties uniting in their condemnation and the pact between Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness to stick together whatever the dissidents have to throw at them. //www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/revealed-the-private-pact-between-martin-mcguinness-and-peter-robinson-14897851.html

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