Belfast Telegraph

Fine Gael leader in dissidents vow

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has vowed to confront the threat of dissidents on both sides of the border if he is elected to lead Ireland in the forthcoming General Election.

The Opposition leader told the Alliance Party annual conference in Antrim the structure of the Good Friday Agreement must also strengthen co-operation between political institutions north and south to tackle the economic crisis.

In a keynote address to delegates, Mr Kenny maintained tackling organised crime, drug and counterfeit cigarette smuggling by subversive organisations must be a joint priority of any new administrations in both jurisdictions.

"Despite the fact that the current peace process enjoys the support of all Government and opposition parties throughout Britain and Ireland, there are a number of dissidents that still remain in existence," he said.

"Attacks carried out by these unrepresentative organisations increased by 70% last year and is an indication of their determination to undermine the current peace process.

"The Independent Monitoring Commission has repeatedly stated that these groups are actively recruiting and training young men without previous terrorist experience and are engaged in serious criminal activity like weapons acquisition.

"If there is one clear message that I want to send out from this conference today, it is this: If the people charge me with the responsibility of leading the next Government, I pledge that that Government will use every resource at its disposal to confront this threat."

Alliance Party leader David Ford will also address members at the conference, where issues to be discussed include the poor state of the transport infrastructure in Northern Ireland and the critical importance of a shared future towards achieving economic prosperity and addressing social deprivation.


From Belfast Telegraph