Dissident republican terrorists, the Continuity IRA (CIRA), planned to kill Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness using a rocket launcher.

On Monday night McGuinness tweeted:

In a statement he said, “I have been made aware the PSNI has discovered a plan to launch a rocket attack against me.

"The PSNI [Police Service in Northern Ireland] has said that a group calling itself 'CIRA' considered an attack against me using a rocket launcher."

In 2012 McGuinness met with Queen Elizabeth and shook her hand. This caused outrage among hardline republicans, who are opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland. Since 2012 McGuinness has met with the Queen on several other occasions and has attended a banquet at Windsor Castle.

McGuinness continued, “I will not be silenced or deterred. These people are only interested in plunging us back into the past.

"If those behind this threat think they have the ability to destroy the peace agreements which have been endorsed by the overwhelming majority of the people of Ireland then they are clearly detached from reality.

"They need to wise up, listen to the people of Ireland and abandon these futile actions.

"This threat will not stop me or anyone in Sinn Fein from our work in representing everyone in our society and continuing to pursue our political objectives."

The former commander in the IRA, a native of Derry, McGuinness’ life was threatened in 2013 by dissident republicans. He described it as a “real and active” threat. At the time he said he believed the threat was connected to his public condemnation of a mortar attack in Derry and support of the police.

In 1994, when the Provisional Irish Republican Army declared a ceasefire, the CIRA split from them. The CIRA’s aim is to kill members of the security forces and their end goal is a united Ireland.

Their most notorious act was the murder of police officer Stephen Carroll, in March 2009. The 48-year-old police officer was shot dead as he attended a call for help at a housing estate in Craigavon, County Armagh. He was hit by a sniper. Carroll was the first police fatality after the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998.

Trevor Lunn, Alliance Policing Board member, said, “There is no justification for making a threat against the life of any individual.

"Every politician should be able to carry out the work that they were elected to do without having to worry about being attacked. Any threat against an elected representative is an attack on democracy. All parties must unequivocally condemn this threat and any other attempt to intimidate any elected representative."

On Tuesday afternoon McGuinness tweeted:

Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness says terrorists “need to wise up, listen to the people of Ireland and abandon these futile actions.”Photocall