Another leading Catholic priest has offered to hold peace talks with the Real IRA ahead of the Queen’s visit to Ireland.
Dublin cleric Fr Peter McVerry has offered to meet the Real IRA leadership in a bid to persuade them to finally lay down their arms.
Fr McVerry has also offered to hold talks with the dissident Republican group responsible for the recent murder of Catholic police officer Ronan Kerr in Omagh.
He made the offers against the backdrop of threats from both the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA to disrupt the Queen’s visit this week.
The Continuity IRA issued a statement promising to: “Do everything in our power to get to the head of the Crown occupation forces on her visit to Ireland.”
The Real IRA have also threatened the armed British policemen who will accompany Queen Elizabeth to her official functions in Dublin, Kildare, Tipperary and Cork between Tuesday and Friday.
Derry priest Fr Michael Canny was snubbed by the Real IRA when he challenged them to a face to face meeting but Fr McVerry is adamant he will do all he can to hold peace talks with the dissidents.
“The Real IRA remain intent on causing misery on this island and I would welcome the opportunity to meet them to tell them to stop,” said Fr McVerry.
“I pray that they will reduce their level of violence before, during and after the Queen’s visit.
“Any person of goodwill should do their utmost to tell these people to abandon their campaign. I want to meet them in an effort to persuade them to give up.”
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