West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Threat to community workers is threat to whole community - Pat Doherty MP

Published: 10 November, 2014

As the Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone I want to offer my solidarity and support for Community Workers, and condemn those behind the threats that culminated in a number of Strabane Community Workers resigning from their positions.

Any attack on community workers is an attack on the whole community. The people of Strabane are rightly outraged at these threats and the contrast between the activities of these criminal gangs masquerading as republicans; and the contribution of the community workers in delivering essential assistance to residents, will not be lost on them.

This is not the first time community workers have come under threat from one of these armed gangs. These gangs are deeply involved in criminality, including widespread extortion and their actions contrast sharply with the positive work of hundreds of community workers throughout the 6 counties.

It says much about the mentality of those controlling groups like the one behind this threat that in their warped logic threatening community workers somehow advances the cause of Irish reunification.

A threat to any one of my constituents is a matter of concern.

Sinn Féin have consistently called on these micro groups to stop and to disband. They have nothing to offer. They have no strategy for Irish reunification.

Those responsible for issuing this threat must publicly lift it immediately and then go away and allow the people to build a better future for themselves and their families, without the shadow of these gangs, who are besmirching the honourable title of republican, hanging over them.

They seem to think they can do what they want, that they can bully and intimidate our community sector- they are very badly mistaken.