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Irish News journalist warned of threat against them by dissident republicans

The journalist was warned of the threat against them by the PSNI.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

A THREAT BY a dissident republican group against a journalist working for the Irish News has been condemned as “disgraceful” and “disturbing”.

The journalist with the Belfast-based newspaper was warned by the Police Service of Northern Ireland about the threat against them.

Editor of the Irish News Noel Doran appealed to the dissident republican group who supposedly made the threat against the unnamed journalist to lift it.

“We’re appalled that a threat has been made, purportedly from a paramilitary group, against a member of staff with our paper,” he said in a video message today.

“It would be dreadful to deal with a development like that at any time, but in the middle of the virus crisis it’s particularly disgraceful.

“I’m satisfied that, having spoken to a senior police officer, the PSNI are treating this with considerable seriousness and I can say that our staff will not be deterred from doing their job.

“And I would repeat to the group responsible: withdraw the threat immediately.” 

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland also called for the threat to be lifted immediately.

“Vicious threats against journalists, by any group, at any time, are disgraceful,” Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, said.

“While the coronavirus is causing immense physical, mental and financial suffering; those behind this despicable threat have issued it in the hope of silencing a specific journalist and journalism in general.

“Let the message be loud and clear to them – all NUJ members condemn this threat and the union will continue to offer the journalist affected our full support and assistance.”

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood was also among those who condemned the threat. He said that the pursuit of truth without fear or favour by journalists was a critical pillar of democracy in the North.

“Those seeking to intimidate or to harm journalists have nothing to offer our society,” he said. 

“The paramilitary threat against an Irish News journalist is deeply disturbing and it must be lifted immediately.”

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