NIYF Chairperson condemns threat against children
Chairman of the NI Youth Forum, Martin McAuley, has condemned threats by paramilitary group “The Red Hand Defenders” against school children, parents and staff of schools in the Greater Belfast Area.
“This is a sickening attack on the right of every child to education free from the threat of violence or intimidation. There can be no justification for describing children, their parents or educators as ‘legitimate targets’. Those behind this new threat represent nobody, stand for nothing and must be brought to justice as soon as possible.”
“As a society we must collectively express our disgust at this development. We all have a duty to ensure that our children grow up in a positive, safe and shared environment. No community, group or individual has a veto over that.”
“I call on those responsible to immediately withdraw this callous threat and for those in a position of influence to condemn this careless disregard for the wellbeing of the most vulnerable members of our society.”
“We must all commit ourselves to encouraging a process of reconciliation and fostering positive relations across Belfast. Only then can we begin to move toward a truly shared city. Those who put sectarian territory politics before resolution and understanding offer us nothing and cannot be allowed to set the agenda for moving forward.”