Threats to Fr Donegan are simply repulsive
Eighteen years on from the ceasefires and the despicable threat of violence is still, unfortunately, a feature within our communities.
The recent efforts by "dissident republicans" to frighten local priest Fr Gary Donegan have to be regarded not just with revulsion, but also collective denial.
Fr Donegan has served the north Belfast community and beyond and has also spoken out against those who are at war with their own community.
However, any type of threat, not just to him but others involved in necessary community-based peacebuilding work, particularly from dissident republicans, is not just worrying but is a disturbing development.
As we are aware, Fr Donegan has been vocal and proactive against those who murdered local father-of-four Michael McGibbon. What he did was call out and condemn those who took a man's life and shattered a young family.
Because of this unstinting act of solidarity the reaction from dissident republicans has been aggressive.
No one should be threatened, bullied, or intimidated for what they believe in, or what they do or indeed be living under death threats in 2016. We have come through fear, pain and loss and we have to stand up to those who are still devoted to violence and the gun.
We unreservedly support our Civil Society Network colleague Fr Donegan and others working on behalf of their communities and they warrant our full backing at this challenging time.
Civil Society Network Steering Group