Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said those involved in vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) “are certainly not republicans.”
Mr McCartney made the comment as local politicians added their voices for the group to disband in the wake of the latest shooting attacks on two young men in the Bogside on Wednesday night.
“Let’s be very clear these shootings have absolutely nothing to do with drugs and those carrying them out are certainly not republicans, everything they do is anathema to republicans and besmirches a proud tradition,” he said.
The Foyle MLA said the people of Derry have clearly demonstrated their rejection of RAAD during public demonstrations. “This is about flexing muscles following an altercation between young people and individuals identified as having connections to these vigilantes.
“It is about intimidating the youth in our communities. We now have the a situation where mothers are being asked to bring their sons to locations to be shot by appointment.
“Well Derry mothers will not be intimidated and they sent a strong, clear message from the rally in Creggan on Wednesday night and the protest in the Top of the Hill last month following the murder of Andrew Allen, that the people of Derry are demanding that this group cease their activities and disband immediately,” he said.
He also appealed directly to members of RAAD to act in the best interests of the city and disband.
SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey also called on the vigilante group to cease their actions. “There is no place in a civilised society for vigilante justice and the people of Derry have made that clear with repeated demonstrations against the likes of Republican Action Against Drugs.
“I cannot stress enough how fed up the people of Derry are with attacks like these and we will be tireless in our campaign against the thugs who carried out these shootings,” Mr Ramsey said.