Calls to lift bonfire row threats

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Calls have been made for threats issued against two young people from Creggan over a dispute involving bonfire material to be lifted.

Masked men called at the houses of the two young men and told them they would be shot if they did not leave the city within 24 hours.

The mother of one of those under threat said the threat arose from a dispute over rival bonfires in Creggan. Pallets her son had collected for one bonfire were burned by a rival group. Her son and other then set fire to bonfire material belonging to the other group.

It is believed the threat was issued by members of an armed vigilante group which recently joined forces with other dissident republicans and now calls itself ‘the IRA’.

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney condemned the threats and said the issue had angered local people. “People will find it incredible that a number of teenagers from Creggan have been issued with a death threat and ordered to leave Derry in 24 hours in a reported dispute over bonfire material. There is a lot of anger and frustration in the area about the actions of these self-appointed armed groups.

“This stands in stark contrast to the outstanding work carried out right across the city in the last few weeks by community organisations offering positive alternatives to bonfires.

“The seriousness of this situation cannot be understated and I condemn those behind these latest death threats. The local community is demanding that these armed gangs, no matter what umbrella or names they operate under, disband and lift the atmosphere of intimidation hanging over the Creggan community.”