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Higgins warns against extremism at UK peace centre

President Michael D Higgins has urged people to reach out to those at risk of being sucked into radicalisation and extremism.

At a visit to the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace centre in Warrington, England, born out of the boys' murders in an IRA bomb in March 1993, Mr Higgins said the work of the foundation was an inspiration. He warned that radicalisation of young people is fast becoming one of the most significant threats in a global society.

And he said socially-isolated people are increasingly invited to turn to extremism as they seek - or have suggested to them - a purpose, a role and an identity.

"For all of us who are committed to the ideals of freedom, tolerance and peace, it is essential that we engage with those excluded individuals who may be drawn towards extremism and radicalisation," Mr Higgins said.

"We must give leadership in identifying and tackling the social conditions in which extremism can take root," he added.

Ireland's ambassador to Britain Dan Mulhall joined Mr Higgins for the visit.

It is 22 years since the IRA murdered three-year-old Johnathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry (inset) when a no-warning bomb detonated in a bin on a busy town centre.