AP front 1 - 2022

6 May 1999 Edition

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Intimidation and attacks

Orange Volunteers target Antrim pub

The Orange Volunteers attacked the Ramble Inn in south Antrim on Wednesday night, 28 April, with a pipe bomb, the same pub where six people were killed by loyalists in 1976. The device exploded outside the pub around 11 pm.

South Antrim Sinn Féin representative Meehan said that Orange Volunteer activity has greatly increased in the South Antrim area over the past three months.

Meanwhile, An Phoblacht has learned of the loyalist targeting of an Antrim Sinn Féin activist on the Rathenraw estate. The area around his home was sealed off following the discovery of a suspect device underneath his car on Sunday morning, 2 April.

South Derry nationalists must be vigilant

Two men, brothers from the Ballinderry area, were visited by RUC members on Friday, 30 April, who told them that letters addressed to each of them were intercepted at the Post Office Sorting Office, both containing a .38 bullet and a note from the Orange Volunteers saying: ``The next one is for you.''

Sinn Féin's Mid-Ulster Assembly member John Kelly said that there have been five physical attacks in the South Derry area since Christmas and increased intimidation by both the RUC and loyalist death squads. He said that two weeks ago a family was visited by the RUC in Swatragh, also South Derry, and told that their lives were in imminent danger. The RUC returned the next day with their own leaflet on intimidation and asked ``Have you not moved yet?''

RUC target Armagh men

Two men from Armagh have publicly accused the RUC of attempting to intimidate them into becoming informers.

Nineteen-year-old Damien Renaghan from Keady said he was approached 18 months ago and again on a number of occasions in the last two weeks and offered money to report on ``people who were organising marches and protests'' in the town. He reported the recruitments to Sinn Féin councillor Brian Cunningham and has lodged a complaint through his solicitor.

Patrick O'Connor from Armagh was first approached last November in Armagh leisure centre by two men in plainclothes who identified themselves as members of the RUC. O'Connor was then phoned at home after Christmas and offered a ``five-figure sum'' to meet police in Glasgow before a Celtic match. He was then repeatedly phoned at home and on his mobile phone.

Newry death threat

A Newry man who has been told by the RUC that loyalists are planning to kill him has accused the RUC of collusion. The man, who does not wish to be named, said that the RUC photographed his home and drew diagrams of its layout in the early hours of Thursday, 22 April. The following Wednesday night, 28 April, the RUC delivered the loyalist death threat and warned him to take it seriously.

The man has complained to his solicitor about the ``highly suspicious'' threat emerging after the RUC had monitored his movements and photographed his house. He has also complained to his solicitor about being regularly followed by RUC patrols.

Lurgan death threats

Lurgan man Paul Gillespie has told An Phoblacht that he was visited by the RUC at his home on the Kilwilkee estate late on Wednesday night, 28 April, and ``notified that my name and details of my home and car are presently in the hands of loyalists''.

Gillespie, who currently has a case pending against RUC chief Ronnie Flanagan arising from an RIR assault, added that he was also subjected to continual harassment by the RIR and that at the beginning of April the RIR took a personal diary during a search of his car that they claimed they were still holding to carry out forensic tests. Two other men also living on the Kilwilkee estate were also visited by the RUC on the same night and warned of loyalist death threats.

Compensation for plastic bullet injuries

Two Belfast men and two men from Keady have been awarded a total of £34,000 after they were injured by plastic bullets fired by the RUC in July 1996. Kieran Killyleagh, who suffered kidney and rib damage and was forced to miss the under-21 hurling championship final for Antrim, was awarded £15,000. Over £370,000 compensation has now been awarded to people who have been injured by plastic bullets fired by the RUC.

Unwelcome honeymoon approach

A Westmeath republican was forced to cut his honeymoon short after he was three times approached by British agents asking him to become an informer.

Tom Maxwell, from Mullingar, flew home from Cyprus with his wife ten days early to escape the badgering operatives.

Four threatened in Fermanagh

Four people in Fermanagh, including two councillors, have received death threats. Robin Martin, the Vice Chair of Fermanagh District Council and his colleague, Brian McCaffery, along with two members of the newtownbutler Residents' Association, were visited by the RUC on Saturday, 1 May, and told that a phone call to the BBC in Belfast from the Red Hand Defenders had named them as appearing on a `death list'.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1