Threats against Derry men

Derry republican Ritchie Harkin. (1112MM05)
Derry republican Ritchie Harkin. (1112MM05)

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has called for apparent threats against two Derry republicans to be lifted.

Mr McCartney made the call after two local republicans, including senior Derry republican Ritchie Harkin - a former prisoner and a member of Sinn Féin - and another man were contacted by the PSNI last week and urged to increase their personal security in response to an apparent threat against them.

Mr Harkin is well known in Derry republican circles and recently chaired a commemoration event in Creggan to mark the 40th anniversaries of the deaths of two IRA men.

Mr McCartney condemned the situation and called for any threats against the two men to be lifted.

“The threats, if real, against these two men are absolutely unacceptable and must be lifted now,” he said.

“These threats put enormous pressure on the individuals themselves and their extended families particularly a few weeks away from Christmas,” he added.

While it is unclear if any of the armed groups operating in the city are behind the apparent threats, Mr McCartney called on those groups to make their positions public.

“The local community does not need nor want a constant atmosphere of fear and intimidation hanging over the area. And the groups behind these threats need to step forward and make their positions publicly clear,” he said.

He also said condemned the use of threats against anyone in the community. “I repeat my earlier calls to anyone involved with these vigilante gangs who have any concern for the people of Derry and the wider area to stop and examine the negative impact of their actions and walk away from those who are directing this community intimidation before they inflict further hurt on their own people,” he said.

A PSNI spokesperson said; “We do not discuss the security of any individual.

“However, if we receive information that a person’s life may be at risk we will inform the relevant persons accordingly. We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk.”