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NIO's got it all wrong with dissident republicans

Who are these middle-Englanders in the NIO engaged in name-calling violent republicans 'Residual Terrorist Groups'? (News, November 10). I thought the days of Labour government soft-soap spinning the IRA were over. Apparently not.

As reported in the Belfast Telegraph, even the Home Secretary, Theresa May, referred to "residual terrorist groups linked to Northern Ireland". Ms May was only partly correct; she failed to mention these groups are also linked to, and operate from, the Republic of Ireland.

Do none of these people read the Government's Home Office website on Irish terrorist groups (14 at the last count), including Óglaigh na hÉireann, the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA designated 'proscribed' and none of these groups on 'residual' ceasefire? Those readers old enough will recall Reggie Maudling's infamous words of 1971 when he said he could foresee a time when IRA violence could be reduced to an acceptable level. Forty years on, according to the NIO, we now have a residual level of violence, including bombings and murder.

The Government should commence their Civil Service cull by reducing staff in the NIO and employ people with common sense; leaving the Chief Constable and his officers to carry out their duties unimpeded by NIO slogans.

The people of Northern Ireland will not be convinced, or conned, by the NIO that a slogan a day will keep the terrorists at bay.

M W WOODS

Bangor, Co Down

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