Dissident threat against Irish News journalist condemned

PSNI warn of a paramilitary plan to attack them in their own home

A dissident republican threat against an Irish News journalist in Belfast has been widely condemned.

The journalist was warned by the PSNI of a dissident paramilitary plan to attack them in their own home.

Irish News editor Noel Doran described the threat as "repugnant" and "appalling".

“Our staff will not be deterred from carrying out their duties at any stage and I would call on those behind this threat to withdraw it without delay,” he said.


The National Union of Journalists called for the threat to be lifted. Assistant NUJ general secretary Seamus Dooley said, "Vicious threats against journalists, by any group, at any time, are disgraceful. It is shocking this threat has been made at a time when the NHS staff is trying to save lives and help the vulnerable in our society."

Sinn Fein North Belfast Assembly member Gerry Kelly said the threat was a "reckless" attempt to silence freedom of the press.

“Those behind this threat have nothing to offer our society, particularly at a time when communities are coming together. They have once against set themselves against the people,” he said.

The SDLP leader Colum Eastwood called for the threat to be lifted immediately. "The pursuit of truth without fear or favour by journalists is a critical pillar of our democracy and crucial to holding those who exercise power to account," he said.

“Those seeking to intimidate or to harm journalists have nothing to offer our society,” added Mr Eastwood.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty Northern Ireland's programme director said, "Such threats are not merely an attack on one journalist, they are an attack on the freedom of the press in Northern Ireland. "

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times