‘Take the message and disband’ - Cooper

Mickey Cooper.

Mickey Cooper.

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Derry Sinn Fein Councillor, Mickey Cooper has called on dissident republican organisations to “take the message and disband.”

The councillor also said that Sunday night’s security operation “clearly shows that despite the small nature of these organisations, they are clearly leaking information to the security services regularly.”

The councillor was at the scene of the alert on Sunday and worked late into the night ensuring those evacuated from their homes had somewhere to go.

Several residents, evacuated as a result of the alert, were rehoused temporarily free of charge, by the Tower Hotel.

Councillor Cooper said that the police had “appeared suddenly from everywhere.”

“It is clear they were waiting on this van and for those in it,” he said.

“It is clear that these organisations, despite recent restructuring exercises, are leaking information in all directions. Even their own supporters seem to be passing information to the police. Clearly people are not as supportive as these organisations believe them to be. The recent interception of an armed rocket on Westway also shows that someone is passing information to the police.

“It is time that these groups took the hint: What they are doing is a waste of time. They should take the message and disband.”

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, MLA accused those behind the foiled mortar bomb attack of engaging in actions which “run directly against the will of the republican community and the democratically expressed wishes of the people of Ireland.”

Mr McGuinness said yesterday: “It was through the good work of the PSNI that we are not talking about a disastrous situation in Derry today.

“This is not about any attempt to advance a united Ireland. This is a vanity trip by those involved and more about money and ego than patriotism.”