Dissidents 'swimming in a sea of criminality'
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has strongly criticised the "criminality and drug-dealing" of the dissident republicans suspected of murdering prison officer David Black.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with the North's First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Mr Kenny said there was a "warped mentality" among dissident republicans.
At a meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council in Armagh, Mr Kenny said dissident republicans were linked with criminality, drug dealing and extortion which had led to deaths on the streets of Dublin as well as the murder of Mr Black.
"I do hope that the perpetrators of this murder can be brought to justice and dealt with by the courts. This kind of activity has no place in our society," he said.
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore also said that the criminality of dissident republicans was not confined to north of the Border -- in a reference to the killing of Real IRA leader Alan Ryan in north Dublin last September.
"We have seen too in Dublin in recent times shootings and killings taking place. This is a problem we have to deal with together," he said.
But the harshest words came from Mr McGuinness, a former IRA member, who said he had a message to give to those who backed dissident republicans.
"If you support these people, you are effectively supporting people who are swimming in a sea of criminality and drugs, dressing it up on occasions with a flag of political convenience. And you shouldn't be under any illusions about that. People need to get real," he said.