Derry City Council: Threats against wardens lifted says Nipsa

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Media captionSharon O'Connor thanked the public for their support during the past week

Death threats from dissident republicans against Derry City Council community workers have been lifted, according to a trade union.

The wardens deal with low-level anti-social behaviour and were threatened twice last week.

On Thursday, during an emergency meeting, the council called for the threats to be lifted immediately.

It said the affected staff would not return to work until the threat had been lifted.

The latest threat came in a statement to the Derry Journal newspaper, from a group calling itself "the IRA".

Image caption Council staff held a protest outside Derry City Council's offices on Thursday to show their opposition to the threats

Sharon O'Connor, the chief executive of Derry City Council, thanked the public for their support during the past week.

"I think if we take pleasure in any aspect of this, it's surely that the whole community came together to support their fellow Derry people," she said.

'Appreciated'

"This city stood together once again and I would just like to thank the citizens of the city more generally for everything they did and the fact they were visible and demonstrative in their support for the staff.

"It was really very much appreciated by the affected staff and I'd like to pass on their thanks."

Alan Law, from the Nipsa union, said he welcomed the lifting of the threat and would now engage with the council.

"We intend to meet with the council to discuss all issues surrounding this threat and how the workers can return to work without any further fear of threat or intimidation," he said.

SDLP MP Mark Durkan said: "The public support for the wardens shows that their work is valued and wanted - whereas those who have made these threats are not wanted."

The 11 community safety wardens were taken off duty when the first threat was issued last Tuesday.

On Thursday, about 80 people attended a protest outside the Derry City Council offices, to show their opposition to the threat.

The protesters included council staff, politicians and trade union representatives.

A planned protest in support of the wardens, which was due to be held at lunchtime in Guildhall Square in Derry on Monday, has now been cancelled.

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