Teenagers leave after masked men bonfire row threat

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Two teenagers who were threatened with being shot over a row about a bonfire have left Derry.

The 19-year-olds were told they had to get out of Derry by 11pm last night.

The threat was issued by two armed and masked men who called to the home of one of the men on Tuesday night.

The mother of one of the men says the threat stemmed from a row over a bonfire.

“On Tuesday night there was a bang on the door at 20 past 11 and I went out and answered the door and there were two men standing there with hoods up and scarves around their faces. They said ‘your son has 24 hours to get out of Derry or he will be shot’.

“My son runs about with a crowd and they are collecting for bonfires and the other crowd burnt 200 of their pallets, so they went down to their bonfire to burn theirs and there was a whole row and then this happened.”

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney says the threat stands in stark contrast to the work carried out right across the city in the last few weeks by community groups offering positive alternatives to bonfires.

““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.”

Meanwhile the clean up operation is underway in various parts of Derry this morning after the annual August 15 bonfires. There are no reports of any major incidents.