editorial image

A Derry republican whose teenage son was forced to leave Derry under a death threat has called on those responsible to allow him to return.

Bobby Fisher’s 19 year-old son was one of two young men ordered out of the city earlier this month after they became involved in a dispute over bonfires in Creggan.

No group has publicly admitted issuing the threat but it is widely believed to have been the dissident republican group calling itself ‘the IRA’ - an amalgamation of the Real IRA and Republican Action Against Drugs.

Masked men called at the homes of the two teenagers to tell them to leave Derry or face being shot.

Mr Fisher, a well-known Creggan republican, branded the group “bully boys” and called for the threat to be lifted immediately.

“As a family we have gone through some difficult times together, mainly at the hands of the British throughout the years. We now find ourselves going through a very difficult time but this time it’s at the hands of so-called republicans who have exiled our son from his home,” he said.

Mr Fisher said immediately after his son was threatened, his wife stated publicly that it was because of a row over bonfire materials which had been gathered for rival bonfires in Creggan.

He also said that those behind the threats have made it known to him that if his wife retracts her statement they will allow the two young men to return. He said that his family are not prepared to do that.

“They cannot come up with anything substantial to justify their actions. To get our son home they want us to bow to their demand that my wife retracts her statement. This is unacceptable and we fear our son will suffer more because of this,” he said.

In a direct message to those behind the threats, Mr Fisher said; “You know you have done wrong and it is time to make it right. Grow up and have someone in your organisation take a stand and do the right thing for once and give families the chance to deal with their own children without masked men knocking at doors.

“Stop being the bully boys that people believe you to be,” he said.

Mr Fisher also said his son is currently in hiding across the border and cannot get access to benefits or any financial help because he cannot prove residency in the state.

The Creggan man said he intends to contact a human rights lawyer with a view to lodging an appeal for political asylum in the Republic for his son because of the threats against his life.