Date: 06 October 2010
ALARMING new figures show that 14 per cent of nationalists sympathise with dissident republican terrorists.
The disturbing findings come amid fears of an escalation in dissident attacks following the overnight car bomb which wrecked buildings near the centre of Londonderry early yesterday.
According to research to be unveiled by Professor Jon Tonge of Liverpool University at a conference at Queen's University tomorrow, 14 per cent of those identifying as nationalists in a survey have "sympathy for the reasons why some republican groups (such as the Real and Continuity IRAs) continue to use violence".
The findings are clearly at odds with the views of Londonderry's police commander Stephen Martin who yesterday said the terrorists "had no support" or "legitimacy".
But writing in the News Letter, Mr Tonge said: "One of the mantras of the peace process is that 'dissident' republicans have no support ... Yet the assumption that dissidents have no support has been precisely that – an assumption, untroubled by actual evidence either way."
Shock as dissident support revealed - Belfast Today