Dissidents are in direct conflict with nationalist communities - Kearney
Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA has said republicans opposed to Sinn Féin are in direct conflict with the nationalist population and called for dialogue to address political divisions.
Writing today in the online edition of An Phoblacht, Mr Kearney said;
"Organisations have emerged in recent years supposedly to promote an alternative republican strategy and agenda. But they have never attempted to build a political or electoral base.
"Instead, much of their energies have been exclusively directed towards attacking the peace process and Sinn Féin; and promoting the use of vile, personalised abuse on social media platforms.
"Some have become increasingly engaged in violent attacks, including murders, against those living in nationalist areas: they are now in direct conflict with the nationalist population.
"It is clear these groups have been infiltrated, both North and South, by criminals.
"An atmosphere of recrimination and adversity has been created in nationalist areas in an attempt to provoke confrontation with Sinn Féin activists and local republican supporters.
"Last month a sinister escalation in this pattern of activity occurred when both Dove House Resource Centre and Féile an Phobail became targets.
"The only effect of such incidents is to disrupt, divide and demoralise the community within nationalist areas. The only conclusion to be drawn is that is their intended objective.
"Republicans hostile to Sinn Féin, and criminals masquerading as republicans, are being ‘played’ in an attempt to destabilise nationalist areas in the north.
"Eighteen years after the Good Friday Agreement, British security and intelligence services continue to exert a toxic influence in the north of Ireland.
"The activities of the ‘dark side’ are totally incompatible with the democratic process. It is time for wider society to demand an end to their corrosive role and existence.
"As National Chairperson of Sinn Féin, I have written officially, twice in the last eight months alone, to a range of these so-called republican groups, inviting private dialogue.
"Refusal to engage in dialogue perpetuates hostility and fuels the potential for confrontation."