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Ireland 'Nothing to offer': Mary Lou McDonald says violent dissident republicans should disband

12:25  16 february  2020
12:25  16 february  2020 Source:   thejournal.ie

Well hello Mary Lou, goodbye two-party politics

  Well hello Mary Lou, goodbye two-party politics All changed, changed utterly. The words of the poet WB Yeats in the wake of Ireland's uprising against British rule in 1916. They could equally apply to the general election that has just taken place, producing something of a political revolution.For generations, Ireland has been a two-party state - governed by either Fianna Fail or Fine Gael - but there's a third contender now: Sinn Fein.The party long seen by many as "the political wing of the IRA" has come of age, now fighting its battles at the ballot box.

The party’s president, Mary - Lou McDonald , said they would not be deterred or intimidated by the gunmen. Senior commanders have become concerned about a slide in the proportion of Catholic officers amid the threat posed by dissident republicans who try to kill members of the security forces.

Mary Lou McDonald blasted Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael for denying her party Mary - Lou McDonald : Violent dissident republicans should disband . The party leader said : “Already in the Executive we have seen measures taken to tackle poverty, including moving quickly to end the nurses dispute of

Mary Lou McDonald wearing a suit and tie: Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald © Niall Carson via PA Images Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald

VIOLENT DISSIDENT REPUBLICANS should disband, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald has said.

Anti-peace process renegades threatened the party’s vice president Michelle O’Neill and veteran policing spokesman Gerry Kelly after they supported a recent recruitment campaign for new Catholic officers.

McDonald has said they would not be deterred or intimidated by the gunmen.

Related: For all the election 2020 news, reaction and analysis, click HERE

She added: “These people have no politics, no strategy and nothing to offer.

“They are at war with their community and are now threatening political representatives who serve the people.”

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Mary - Lou McDonald : violent dissident republicans should disband . Long an outsider in Irish politics because of its links with the Irish Republican Army, Sinn Fein has now moved center stage. ' Nothing to offer ': Mary Lou McDonald says violent dissident republicans should disband .

Mary - Lou McDonald : Violent dissident republicans should disband . Gunmen threatened Michelle O’Neill Having lost to Kilkenny and beaten Laois the Dubs manager said his players can now look forward to a vital game in Croke Park against Wexford next Saturday.

Gallery: All the Taoisigh since the foundation of Ireland (Photo Services) 

The event was intended to encourage more Catholics to join the PSNI.

Senior commanders have become concerned in recent years over a slide in the proportion of Catholic officers amid the severe threat posed by dissident republicans who try to kill members of the security forces.

The Sinn Fein president said: “Sinn Fein will not be deterred or intimidated.

“These groups have nothing to offer. It’s time they packed up and disbanded.”

O’Neill and Kelly’s attendance at a PSNI recruitment event was hailed by Chief Constable Simon Byrne as “seismic and historic”.

It was the first time such a senior Sinn Fein figure had attended such a meeting, although the party has expressed support for police in Northern Ireland on many occasions in the past.

Last year there were attempted bomb attacks by dissident republicans targeting police in Belfast, Craigavon in Co Armagh and near the Irish border in Fermanagh.

Gallery: Election campaigns in Ireland over the years (Photo Services) 

Police have branded as “cruel and disgusting” anti-PSNI recruitment posters depicting an officer who was severely injured in a bomb attack.

The posters used a picture of Peadar Heffron along with a warning that anyone thinking of joining the police could suffer similar injuries.

Heffron lost a leg when a dissident bomb detonated under his car near Randalstown in 2010 as he travelled to work. He now uses a wheelchair.

Meanwhile, McDonald commended her negotiating, Executive and Assembly teams – led by O’Neill – for “working hard for citizens”.

She listed recent successes following the restoration of devolved political powersharing at Stormont.

The party leader said: “Already in the Executive we have seen measures taken to tackle poverty, including moving quickly to end the nurses dispute of equal pay; extending welfare mitigations, a new house building programme has been announced.

“Additional funding has been made available for education and the victims and survivors of the contaminated blood scandal in the north will receive compensation payments.”

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