Dissident Republicans have refused to meet with the Catholic priest who offered to broker a ceasefire with the Real IRA.
Fr Michael Canny, a leading religious leader inDerry, made the offer to talk to the dissident group after they had vowed to kill more police officers and disrupt next month’s Royal visit.
The threats, made by a masked spokesman for the Real IRA at a 1916 commemoration service in Derry on Monday, have been condemned on both sides of the border.
But the Real IRA has vowed to ignore the public outrage and refused to open dialogue with Fr Canny.
A spokesman for the Real IRA told the Irish Independent: “While Fr Canny said he did not wish to engage in airwave diplomacy, we find that impossible to equate with Fr Canny’s media comments that the dissident republican movement has no room in which to manoeuvre and that the actions of dissident republicans were those of evil men.
“Because of these preconceived beliefs expressed by Fr Canny in the public domain, we do not feel there would be any merit in meeting with him. His publicly stated beliefs are not conducive to open and frank dialogue.
“Therefore we do not believe there is any merit in us meeting with Fr Canny at this time.”
Fr Canny, the administrator of St Eugene’s parish in Derry and the diocesan spokesman for Bishop Séamus Hegarty, had offered to meet the Real IRA after it said it would ‘execute’ police officers, irrespective of their religion.
“Their campaign means death, imprisonment and misery and has nothing to offer society,” said Fr Canny.