‘A city of murderers’
The mother of RAAD murder victim Andrew Allen told hundreds of people in Derry’s Guildhall Square on Saturday that Derry didn’t deserve to be called the City of Culture and said it would be more appropriate to give it the title ‘city of murderers’.
Donna Allen was speaking at a rally organised by campaign group ‘RAAD’ not in our name. The protest was organised after a death threat was delivered to local businessman Raymond Coyle at his business in the city earlier this week.
RAAD are also being blamed for the shooting of an 18-year-old who was shot in both knees in Creggan on Thursday evening after his mother was ordered to deliver him to a specific location.
Raymond Coyle’s family were also present at the rally. His sister-in-law Geraldine told protesters her brother-in-law had been demonised by the vigilante republican group and that his character had been taken away.
She said: “Raymond Coyle is a 54-year-old man who has worked hard all his life. He is a law abiding, anti-violence family man with three teenage children. He comes from a staunch republican family and his parents Johnny and Suzie Coyle spent their lives defending people here during the Troubles.
“Raymond is an ordinary decent human being and a socialist who has always stood up when he has seen human rights being abused. He became more prominent after the murder of Andrew Allen and because of that on Monday past the PSNI were sent to his shop by RAAD to warn him that he would be executed.
“He cannot defend himself so we are demanding that this threat is withdrawn,” she added.
Donna Allen, whose son Andrew was shot dead at his home in Buncrana in February, slammed RAAD members calling them “a gang of thugs” who were carrying out a “campaign of genocide” against the young men of Derry.
Mrs. Allen said: “First we had death threats, then murder and now shoot to order. For 40 years the people of this city fought for what is right and just, against the guns and the army. Myself and Andrew’s family will not sit back and Andrew’s children Lochlann and Katie will rise up in the next generation to get justice for their father,” she said.
Veteran civil rights campaigner Bernadette McAliskey was also among those who addressed the crowd along with SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood, local Trade Unionist Liam Gallagher and Michael Cooper who spoke on behalf of Sinn Fein.
Organiser Colm Bryce said: “No one wants to be here like this but we have to show our opposition to this killing and exiling.
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Weather for Derry
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South west