Sinn Féin MLA for north Belfast Gerry Kelly has called on those responsible for issuing a threat of military action against school children, their parents and teachers at three schools in Belfast to immediately withdraw it and has further called on leaders within unionism and loyalism to condemn these threats in the strongest possible terms.
Speaking today Mr Kelly said:
“This is a disgraceful and sinister statement to come from any organisation or individual against school children, their parents and teachers. Those responsible have threatened violent action against children.
“People will remember the shameful scenes of school children at Holy Cross where primary pupils and their parents were left traumatised. We can never see a repeat of those scenes.
“Even the threat of this cannot be tolerated by society. One thing we can all say without fear of contradiction is that school children, their parents and teachers should never be targeted and threatened like this.
“The Red Hand Defenders is a flag of convenience that has been used in the past by mainstream loyalist organisations.
“We must now see unionist and loyalist leaders coming out and condemning these threats in the strongest possible terms, call on the Red Hand Defenders to withdraw this threat and actively support the rights of any child to attend any school of their choice where ever it may be situated and receive their education with without fear or intimidation."