File photo. Michelle O'Neill. Niall Carson/PA Images
Terror Threat

New IRA planning car bomb attack on a Sinn Féin member, O'Neill warns

“We have been told this planned attack could happen anywhere in the north,” deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill said.

THE NEW IRA is planning an under car bomb attack on a Sinn Féin member, the party’s vice president has warned.

Michelle O’Neill said she had been advised of the threat by police in Northern Ireland.

Last week, O’Neill, Stormont’s deputy first minister, said officers had warned that dissident republicans were planning to attack her and the party’s policing spokesman Gerry Kelly.

It came in response to the pair’s attendance at a Police Service of Northern Ireland recruitment event.

Last night, O’Neill indicated that the plot had widened to encompass all Sinn Féin members. She said police had advised that the New IRA was the dissident grouping behind the plan.

“Following the recent launch of a PSNI recruitment campaign, police have told Sinn Féin tonight that persons aligned with the dissident Republican group, the so-called New IRA, plan to attack a Sinn Féin member using an under car explosive device,” she said.

“We have been told this planned attack could happen anywhere in the north.

“This is literally a threat against thousands of Sinn Fein members and their families in the north.

“This is not the first time this particular group have made threats against Sinn Fein members and the PSNI is taking this threat very seriously.

“I am urging the party’s members to be very vigilant at this time.”

O’Neill added: “This latest threat shows once again that these groups are in conflict with their own community.

“This dangerous and disgraceful threat comes at a time when the debate on Irish unity is centre stage.

“And the response of these so-called republicans is to plan attacks on Sinn Féin members.

“Let me be very clear. Sinn Féin will not be deterred from pursuing our objective of a united Ireland.

“We will continue to represent the people in government and in communities the length and breadth of Ireland, driving the agenda for change which has been backed by more than 700,000 voters across this island.

“This armed group must withdraw its threat immediately. There is no room for the existence of armed groups. They should disband.”

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