Dissidents ‘have no mandate whatsoever’ - McGuinness

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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness says dissidents who left a bomb in Currynierin in Derry that was “designed to kill” “have no mandate whatsoever” to “plunge us back into the past”.

The bomb alert caused substantial disruption which saw people evacuated out of their homes from Monday. It is understood that dissident republicans were behind the intended attack on security forces.

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness.

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness.

Speaking in Ballykelly on Wednesday, the deputy First Minister told the ‘Journal’ people want to live in peace.

“My message is very clear, and you would think by now they would have a very clear understanding, that the overwhelming majority of the people of Ireland voted for peace in 1998 and they are not going to back track on that commitment,” said Mr. McGuinness.

“I travel around the North, probably more than anybody else, and in the course of the last number of years I have never seen a British soldier. The only time a British soldier is brought onto the streets, in the form of the bomb disposal people, is when dissidents bring them onto the streets.

“I think the activities of these people need to be unreservedly condemned. The local community doesn’t want it. People want peace, they want jobs and they want economic prosperity and they don’t want people who have no mandate whatsoever plunging us back into the past.”

Mr McGuinness said attempts by dissident republicans will not destabilise the Peace Process.

“I think the Peace Process is rock solid, and I think the institutions are rock solid, particularly in the aftermath of the Stormont House Agreement, and I think it’s very important all elected representatives unreservedly condemn violence from wherever it comes ... “So, the message is very clear. We want to live in peace, we want reconciliation and we want to build bridges with everybody within the community, and those people who are trying to destabilise that need to understand that the task they’re involved in will have no good outcome for them. There is no prospect whatsoever of these people destroying the Peace Process.”

Mr McGuinness said a recent dissident republican threat to kill him in a “rocket attack” would not deter him in doing his job.

“I won’t bend the knee to any threats from any source within our society,” he said. “I am an elected representative of the people of Ireland. The people of Ireland have voted for peace. I will continue to work for that without fear. I will not change my routines. I will not, under any circumstances, reduce my workload. I will continue to deliver for the people who elected me.”