March 28, 2023
Time for armed paramilitary gangs to get off the backs of the community – Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has said there is no place for armed paramilitary gangs and called on them to end their futile and reckless actions which he said were an attack on the whole community.

The party’s policing spokesperson said: 

“There is absolutely no place in our communities for armed paramilitary gangs. 

“There is an onus on the police across the island to do all in their power to prevent further attacks and to help bring the activities of these groups to an end.

“There is also a responsibility on all political leaders to stand together in opposition to these groups.

“Today’s announcement that the level of threat has been increased comes against a backdrop of the attempted murder of police officer John Caldwell and of days of heightened tensions, and attacks by loyalist criminal drug gangs in East Belfast, Bangor  and Newtownards. 

“This has included petrol bomb attacks on homes, threats and intimidation and there are serious concerns this could escalate further.

“These reckless and callous actions and criminality have only served to cause misery and suffering and are an attack on all the community. 

“Some of the groups involved have links to various forms of criminality including drug dealing, extortion, racketeering and murder. There is clear evidence of some so-called dissident republicans working with loyalist and southern crime gangs. 

“I am again calling on all these groups to end their futile and reckless actions now. It’s time to get off the back of the community and pack up and go. 

“It is now 25 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and the people voting overwhelmingly for peace. So much has been achieved in that time. 

“Our society has been  transformed beyond recognition over the last two decades and people are looking forward towards a brighter and better future.”

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