Belfast Telegraph

PSNI probe republican activist Dee Fennell over speech

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Police have confirmed they are investigating comments made by a hardline republican activist supporting "armed struggle" during a dissident republican commemoration event.

In his speech to a crowd that included young children in Co Armagh, Dee Fennell claimed that armed resistance against British rule was "legitimate".

A police spokesman said: "PSNI are aware and are investigating."

In the address in Lurgan on Easter Sunday, which was posted online, he said: "Armed struggle must be a contributory factor to a wider struggle.

"The use of arms prior to 1916 was legitimate. The use of arms in Easter 1916 was legitimate. The use of arms after 1916 was totally legitimate. In the existing political context of partition, illegal occupation and the denial of national self-determination, armed struggle, in 2015, remains a legitimate act of resistance."

Mr Fennell, from the Ardoyne area of north Belfast, is a spokesman for the Greater Ardoyne Residents' Collective which vehemently opposes Orange Order parades.

Ulster Unionist Jo-Anne Dobson branded the comments "disgusting".

"How can our society move forward in peace when individuals who are so consumed by hatred continue to preach the poisonous politics of the past?" the Upper Bann MLA said.

Belfast Telegraph


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