7 June 2001 Edition
New loyalist death threats
Republicans throughout the North have been told they are being targeted by loyalists, yet the RUC is refusing to give those targeted any information as to the nature of the threats.
Since Monday, 4 June, the RUC has delivered letters to the homes of leading republicans including Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and his wife, and Mitchel McLaughlin informing them that their details were on computer files found in a loyalist dump.
Derry mayor Cathal Crumley and Bik McFarlane were also on the list, while party candidates Michelle Gildernew, Joe O'Donnell and Charlie McHugh from Castlederg have also been warned about their personal safety.
In a statement, Sinn Féin chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin called on republicans and nationalists to be vigilant and went on to criticise the RUC for refusing to divulge ``sufficient information'' about the threats.
``As usual, the RUC have refused to disclose any information despite being asked where the information was discovered, the identity and affiliation of the loyalists involved and whether any arrests have been made.
``This is typical of a force which has no desire to provide a policing service to our community,'' said McLaughlin.
O'Hagan and MacCionnaith on death list
Sinn Féin assembly member Dara O'Hagan and Garvaghy Road residents spokesperson Breandán MacCionnaith are among a group of at least six nationalists from the North Armagh area to be told they are on the latest loyalist death list.
The RUC visited the homes of a number of people in the Lurgan and Portadown areas and advised them to ``increase their personnel security precautions''. The RUC visits are linked to the discovery of computer files belonging to a person with links to a loyalist paramilitary group.
Dara O'Hagan called on nationalists in the area to be ``vigilant''. Breandán MacCionnaith echoed this concern, warning nationalists in the area to be on their guard in the weeks leading up to Drumcree.
These latest threats come at a time of increased tensions in the Portadown area, with loyalists attacking nationalist-owned cars with paint in the Obins Drive and Obins Street area of the town.
The attacks were followed by two nights of trouble in the Corcrain Road area of Portadown between loyalists and the RUC. In the latest trouble, on Tuesday 5 June, British paratroopers were deployed.
Meanwhile, responding to the news that Portadown Orangemen had re-entered talks with South African solicitor Brain Currin, MacCionnaith said the Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition was disappointed that it has taken Portadown Orangemen four months to respond to proposals put to them in February this year.
MacCionnaith confirmed that Portadown Orangemen had submitted a document to Brian Currin and that the GRRC were studying it but he criticised the Orange Order over its failure to address the points raised in the residents' February document and over its failure to respond earlier. He said that the Orange submission had only come on 1 June, ``as the Orange marching season in Portadown is already underway''.
``We will be responding to the queries in the LOL No 1 document,'' said MacCionnaith.