Number of Northern Ireland terrorists is tiny

Police say the number of republican dissidents trying to wreck the Northern Ireland peace process is about 300.

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde told the BBC that intelligence clearly showed the numbers intent on violence was a tiny proportion of the population. His comments came after three members of the security forces were killed in two separate attacks one week ago.

Nine people have now been arrested over the murders of a policeman in Craigavon and two soldiers in Antrim.

Det Supt Farrar said the killers had made an unsuccessful attempt to burn-out the getaway car after the murders. “As a result, we now have a number of forensic opportunities that we are exploring,” he said.

Sir Hugh told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “Of course, the threat is very dangerous, that’s been evidenced in the last week, but it’s a very small group. “Three hundred people in a population of 1.7 million people puts it in perspective but it’s a threat we take seriously.

A small number of nutballs can still endanger very many law-abiding citizens. The KKK proved that in America.

As long as unity in peaceful political processes can be maintained by the major parties, life and change will proceed in all of Ireland.

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