Counterterrorism experts will assure you - the only way to defeat terrorism is to unite the society it stems from against it. The lack of support that dissident republican groups have managed to gain means they have no chance of achieving their aims, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness told the press this week.
McGuinness encouraged the public to stand firm after the Real IRA threatened to 'execute' both Catholic and protestant Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers, in a condemnatory speech where the rogue group branded the Queen's visit to the Irish Republic an insult and denounced the GAA, the Catholic Church and even constitutional nationalism.
A threatening statement from the dissident group was read out by a masked man at a rally in Derry City Cemetery organized by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Responding with horror to the series of threats made by the group Irish deputy prime minister Eamon Gilmore said the dissidents had no mandate. in an interview on RTE, Ireland's national radio station, McGuinness agreed with Gilmore and said the dissidents stood against the whole island.
"It's quite clear from the comments that were made yesterday that they see Sinn Fein and all of the other political parties on this island, the Catholic Church and the GAA and indeed the Protestant churches, they see all of us as the enemy," McGuinness told the press.
"I suppose it begs the question, given that they would say that they're committed to Irish reunification, how do you bring about Irish unity without the support of the people of Ireland? That's the big question that they need to answer."
McGuinness said he believed that the dissident republicans had three aims - to destroy the peace process, to break up his relationship with First Minister Peter Robinson and to turn back the tide on integrated policing.
"I think what we have to do is we have to be moving forward very confident about the future, because the unity that has been seen by all of the elected representatives on the island of Ireland, supported by the entire community, sends a very clear message to these people that there's no prospect whatsoever of them achieving any of the objectives that they've set themselves," McGuinness told RTE radio.
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