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'New IRA' dancing on the grave of victim

Editor's viewpoint

We all know that terrorists are pitiless and care little about what decent people think of them. They see force, or the threat of violence, as sufficient to protect their power bases and lure the gullible to their ranks.

But even by its own standards, the dissident republican group that staged a show of strength in the Ardoyne alleyway where its members murdered a man in April sunk to a new low.

As the still grieving widow of Michael McGibbon so bluntly put it, the group - the 'New IRA' - was dancing on his grave as it pranced around the alleyway displaying rocket launchers in a video posted on social media on Monday.

Mr McGibbon was shot in the legs by the terror group and bled to death in the arms of his wife on the very spot where the video was filmed.

What this video really showed was the terrorists' total lack of any humanity, once again reinforcing the message that their only agenda is nihilism. In that they share the mindset of groups like Isis.

Of course, that is accepted by almost everyone in Northern Ireland who has witnessed the group's murderous campaign of fruitless violence that has cost the lives of two prison officers, David Black and Adrian Ismay, and three civilians, Mr McGibbon, Kevin Kearney and Conor McKee.

Dissident republicans know they have little or no support, hence their reluctance to put whatever views they have before the electorate, except in a few isolated council seats.

Joanne McGibbon, who left the Ardoyne area because she could not bear to have her children pass the spot where their father was murdered, has spoken out bravely against this vile video. In doing so she shows infinitely greater courage than the faceless men bearing arms in a macabre dance of death.

Obviously there is no place in a society trying to put the horrors of the Troubles behind it for groups like the New IRA. Its very presence is an affront to any civilised community and it is the hope of all right-thinking people that the police and intelligence services can not only continue to bring as many of them as possible to justice, but will redouble their efforts to rid us of this scourge.

It is not possible, as happened with the Provos, to bring it into the political arena, as it is simply beyond the Pale, oblivious to all reasoned discourse and uncaring what anguish it heaps on the people its members live among.

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