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Republican group Saoradh 'aggressively trying to recruit' students at University College Cork

The university is currently reviewing CCTV footage in a bid to identify the individuals responsible.

UCC
UCC
Image: Google Images

REPUBLICAN GROUP SAORADH has erected posters on the campus of University College Cork in a bid to “aggressively recruit” young people at the college, a professor has said. 

Paul Burgess, a senior lecturer at the university spotted the posters around busy parts of the campus in recent days and said that, as authorities in the college removed them, others were putting them back up. 

Saoradh was criticised by several government ministers after leading a protest march through O’Connell St last weekend, a day after journalist Lyra Mckee was killed by dissident republicans in Derry. 

Speaking to C103′s Cork Today Show, Burgess said it was actively trying to recruit young people at third level institutions. 

“One might think that students there might be better informed about the real nature of this group but, of course, we can’t take that for granted.” 

“And a group of this nature, even if they were to get one, two or three recruits that would be obviously a win-win for them – I think that’s something we need to be concerned about.

“Clearly they’re targeting young people and aggressively trying to recruit,” he added. 

“Traditionally, the groundswell of where they would get their support would be from young people in socio-economically deprived areas and disadvantaged areas, and that’s of course what happened up in the Creggan area in Derry.”

The posters were placed in busy public areas and depicted men in balaclavas and glasses carrying flags. 

The university is currently reviewing CCTV footage in a bid to identify the individuals responsible for erecting the posters in the first place, Burgess said. 

“I was obviously quite angry about this and got on to the authorities in the university right away.”

“They told me this has been an ongoing problem – almost as fast as they could take them down someone was pinning them back up again.

“They were in these display cases [which] might suggest to students that they were given credence by the institution itself.

“That’s not the case, of course, because the university has been keen to take them down as quickly as possible, but my suspicion is this is not just going on in UCC, but in other third level institutions around the county.”

Lyra

Murdered writer Lyra McKee was laid to rest today in Belfast with leaders from across the political divide sitting side by side at St Anne’s Cathedral. 

The UCC professor said he worked with the young woman in recent months in relation to novels he had written, and described her as an “outstanding individual” and “one of a kind”.

“Not only was she very brave young woman who was a very involved actively in the gay rights movement, but she was a very talented journalist and writer as well and our paths crossed because she had read two of my novels.

“Basically, [she] was the epitome of what Northern Ireland should be.”

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