Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Dissidents desperate but still dangerous

A PSNI landrover under attack at Creggan in Derry on Monday night
A PSNI landrover under attack at Creggan in Derry on Monday night

Editor's Viewpoint

There is almost an air of desperation accompanying the New IRA's attempts to kill PSNI officers or other members of the security forces. In one month there have been bomb attacks at Wattle Bridge in Fermanagh, in Strabane, Co Tyrone, and this week in Londonderry.

The ramping up of attacks - all of which have been foiled either through intelligence-gathering or information from the public - demonstrates the determination of dissident republicans to murder police officers or anyone else in their vicinity.

That this latest bomb should have been concealed in a car in the Creggan estate just a five minute walk from where a New IRA gunman shot dead journalist Lyra McKee in April shows the contempt that the dissidents hold for the community in which they shelter.

Even worse, they sent young people out to do their dirty work. Two young people were burned when they threw petrol bombs at police vehicles involved in the search for the Creggan bomb, but they can count themselves lucky so far. Over the years hundreds, if not thousands, of young people have had their lives ruined by paramilitaries of all hues, ending up in jail or dead while the godfathers strut around.

But there is a growing anger in the community at large over the activities of the dissidents.

People know they have nothing to offer but death and destruction and are giving information to the police, even if anonymously.

Informers within the ranks of these micro organisations are also evidently relaying detailed information to the intelligence services, undermining the vile activities of the dissidents.

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That is not to underestimate the danger they continue to pose. It only takes one lapse in intelligence-gathering for the dissidents to succeed in their murder missions.

It is therefore vitally important that the public give whatever information they have to police to continue to stymie the efforts of the dissidents.

It is encouraging to hear the leader of the SDLP and a local priest speak out so unequivocally against the dissidents following this week's events in Creggan.

There is no place for continuing terrorism in Northern Ireland - nor was there ever - and it is important that all sections of the community continue to support the police and join the force.

The dissidents are enemies of us all. They must be viewed as such and must be given no hiding place.

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