I see that the Real IRA staged a show of "strength" last Friday night in the South Armagh village of Meigh.
Eight men armed with AK47 assault rifles and an RPG mounted road blocks on the outskirts of the village and entered the local pub and distributed leaflets.
These leaflets threatened locals that they should not have contact with the PSNI/Gardaí or Sinn Féin.
From people I have spoken to who were in the pub and who were stopped in their cars they also warned anyone local who was involved in drugs or anti-social elements that they would be dealt with in the near future.
I obviously oppose this action for a multitude of reasons.
1. Armed Struggle will not advance Republican objectives at this time; it will only lead to more Irishmen and women in the grave and in jail.
2. These people are a minority in our area and they have no right to tell the people that they should have no contact with a political party which receives 84% of the vote in the area.
That is fascism and will not be tolerated by the local people.
The only people elected to speak for the people of Meigh are Packie McDonald, local councillor, and Conor Murphy, MP/MLA, both of whom are Sinn Féin representatives.
Let us presume for a moment that these dissidents are the local variety.
Their threats against those engaged in drugs and anti-social behaviour might appear credible if it wasn't for the company that some of them keep.
I appeal to these men and women to desist.
Even though I disagree with them most profusely I don't want to see any local Republican languishing in a British jail or resting in Dromintee or Meigh graveyard.
A United Ireland can be achieved through political means and I encourage them to join with us to advance the Republican struggle. James Connolly said it best
"We believe in constitutional action in normal times; we believe in revolutionary action in exceptional times."