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13 December 2007 Edition

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Community leaders angry over threats to Meehans

Carál Ní Chuilín, Martin Walsh of the Ardoyne CEP, Briege Meehan, Gerry Kelly and Fr Gary Donegan of Holy Cross at the show of solidarity with the Meehan family

Carál Ní Chuilín, Martin Walsh of the Ardoyne CEP, Briege Meehan, Gerry Kelly and Fr Gary Donegan of Holy Cross at the show of solidarity with the Meehan family

IN A DEMONSTRATION of support for Briege Meehan and the Meehan family, community workers and church leaders gathered in the Ardoyne Community centre last Thursday, 6 December, and demanded an end to the threats against the family.
Over 100 people heard Fr Aidan Troy tell those behind the deaths threats to Briege Meehan: “I think it’s particularly disgusting that a woman who has just lost her husband is being targeted in this way.”
Fr Troy went on to say:
“I don’t know what these people think they are achieving by putting a grieving grandmother through such pain but I can tell them that they don’t have the support of this community.”
In the days before Martin Meehan died, on 3 November, the Meehan family were warned they were being targeted by micro-groups and in the following weeks Briege Meehan, who represents Sinn Féin on Newtownabbey Council, has been subjected to numerous death threats.
As well as representatives from the North Belfast community sector, many Sinn Féin representatives, including the area’s two MLAs, Carál Ní Chuilín and Gerry Kelly, attended Thursday’s show of solidarity with the Meehans.
An angry Ní Chuilín told the meeting:
“These so-called republicans have nothing constructive to offer the republican struggle. These threats, like those in the past from the British state and their loyalist surrogates, will not undermine the commitment of republicans  to Irish unity and a just and lasting peace.”
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