Dissidents the biggest threat to security since Troubles -- Ahern
DISSIDENT republicans pose the biggest threat to security in Northern Ireland since the Troubles, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern warned yesterday.
He said he was concerned at the implications of incidents such as the car bomb explosion outside the headquarters of the British security service, MI5, in the North on Monday and the previous blast in Newry.
"It only takes a small number of people who are committed in this respect, and these people have shown that they are committed," the minister added.
"It's all the more reason why the two police forces, the Garda and the PSNI, should work more closely than ever to seek out these people."
Mr Ahern is to hold a security summit with his new Northern counterpart, Alliance Party leader David Ford, in Belfast tomorrow. The recent spate of dissident attacks will be top of the agenda.
The minister said he had telephoned Mr Ford to congratulate him on his appointment and the two of them had agreed on the need for an early meeting to debate the threats.
Mr Ahern added that recent events seemed to have emanated from within the North, but said gardai would continue to co-operate closely with the PSNI to combat the threat.
Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy, who will attend the Belfast summit, said gardai had played a major role in preventing other attacks in the Border region and their successes had resulted in a number of republican activists being locked up in prison.