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Martin McGuinness calls for death threat made against Irish News journalist to be 'immediately withdrawn'

Deputy first minister Martin McGuinness called it "cowardly and unacceptable"

Published 14/09/2015

The threat was made against one of the paper's reporters. Pic: Kevin Scott
The threat was made against one of the paper's reporters. Pic: Kevin Scott

Deputy first minister Martin McGuinness has called for a death threat made against an Irish News journalist to be "immediately withdrawn".

The threat was made on Friday and is connected to an ongoing murder investigation, the paper said.

Irish News editor, Noel Doran, described the threat as "deplorable".

He said: "We are taking this development very seriously and the police are fully aware of our concerns.

"A threat against a highly respected colleague is deplorable and all attempts to undermine press freedom must be firmly resisted whenever and wherever they emerge."

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness took to Twitter and slammed those responsible as "cowardly and unacceptable".

The Sinn Fein MLA posted: "The reprehensible threat against an Irish News journalist must be immediately withdrawn.

"It is both cowardly and unacceptable."

The National Union of Journalists said the press should be free to work without intimidation and reporters will not be deterred.

Irish secretary Seamus Dooley told the Irish News: "The death threat issued against an Irish News journalist is a sinister development.

"There is a need for independent, fearless journalism in Northern Ireland and in the current climate we regard the death threat as especially worrying.

"Journalists must be allowed to work in the public interest without intimidation. There is an obligation on those in positions of influence to work to ensure that reporters, photographers and editors are able to operate without risk or threat from any quarter."

"Such threats have no place in a democratic society and should be condemned by all public representatives.

"Journalists in Northern Ireland will not be deterred by such threats.

"The Irish News has faced down bullies before.

"Our members will never give in to those who seek to deny the right to freedom of expression to those who expose inconvenient truths."

A police spokeswoman added: "We do not discuss the security of any individual, individuals or groups.

"However, if we receive information that a person's life may be at risk we will inform the relevant persons accordingly.

"We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk. No inference should be drawn from this."

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