Irish republican leader Adams told of death threat
BELFAST (Reuters) - Northern Ireland police have warned Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams that a threat has been made against his life, the republican party, which jointly governs the province, said Sunday.
Adams, who for years was the face of republican opposition to British rule in Northern Ireland and was once interned as a guerrilla suspect, was also recently told by security officials that the threat level against him was "very high."
"We are taking these threats very seriously. However, they will not distract the party or the party president from carrying out their responsibilities and seeking to advance the peace process," a Sinn Fein spokesman said in a statement.
Sinn Fein maintains tight security around Adams who was shot and injured by pro-British loyalist paramilitaries in 1984 at the height of three decades of violence in Northern Ireland that cost 3,600 lives before a 1998 peace deal.
However, republican dissident groups opposed to Sinn Fein's decision to enter Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive have been behind the recent increase in sporadic violence in the province.
The Sinn Fein spokesman told Reuters the party could not say where the threat came from but in the past it had received threats from both loyalists and dissident republicans.
Northern Ireland Security Minister Paul Goggins informed Adams of the threat level during recent talks in which the province's governing parties agreed a deal to take full control of its police and justice system from London, Sinn Fein said.
A spokeswoman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said its policy was never to comment on the security of individuals.
(Editing by Padraic Halpin and Charles Dick)
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