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Assembly Speaker faces dissident republican threat, Sinn Fein says

Sinn Fein previously announced it has been warned that dissidents were planning to target party members in car bomb attacks.

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Northern Ireland Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey (Liam McBurney/PA)

Northern Ireland Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey (Liam McBurney/PA)

Northern Ireland Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey (Liam McBurney/PA)

Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey has become the latest Sinn Fein member to be informed by police of a dissident republican threat against him, the party has said.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill condemned the threat and insisted it would not deter her party colleague.

Sinn Fein has been subject to threats since Ms O’Neill and party policing spokesman Gerry Kelly attended a PSNI recruitment event last month.

The party has previously announced that it has been warned that dissidents were planning to target party members in car bomb attacks.

Alex has made it clear he will not be deterred by these threats. He will continue to carry out his duties as Speaker, working with all parties in the Assembly, without fear or favourMichelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein

On Friday, Ms O’Neill said her thoughts were with Mr Maskey and his family.

“Alex Maskey has in the past been seriously injured, and his friend and party colleague Alan Lundy murdered, in attacks on his home by loyalist death squads,” she said.

“This latest threat against Alex comes on the heels of threats against Gerry Kelly and myself and attacks and threats against party members from Republican dissidents.

“Alex Maskey is a lifelong community and Republican activist.

“He has been a trail-blazing public representative and political activist for almost 40 years and has played a leading role in the peace process.

“In his role as Speaker, Alex Maskey acts as a representative of all the parties and MLAs in the Assembly and all sections of the community. So these current threats against Alex are an attack on the whole democratic process.

“Alex has made it clear he will not be deterred by these threats. He will continue to carry out his duties as Speaker, working with all parties in the Assembly, without fear or favour.”

PA