Page last updated at 13:51 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Minister told of loyalist threat

Conor Murphy - PA
Conor Murphy said police told him of the threat

Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy has said he has been told of an attempt to murder him at the weekend.

The Newry and Armagh Sinn Féin MP said police told him loyalist paramilitaries calling themselves the Orange Volunteers were behind the attempt.

He said he was told the group claimed to have carried out the murder bid "over the weekend in the Newry area".

The police said they "do not comment on the personal security arrangements of individuals".

"Where we become aware that someone needs to review their security we take steps to inform them immediately. We never ignore anything that would put anyone at risk," a spokesman said.

Mr Murphy said that as a "long-time" member of Sinn Féin he was used to such threats, but added that it was an issue of concern for his family.

"This is part and parcel of being involved with Sinn Féin," he said.

"Unfortunately for too many of our members it has cost them their lives and I think we are always conscious of that."

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