‘No threat’ against community worker

Creggan Community worker Sean McMonagle
Creggan Community worker Sean McMonagle

A local community group says it’s not aware of any threat against a Creggan community worker after concerns were expressed for his safety.

Earlier this week, it was reported that a death threat had been issued against Creggan activist Sean McMonagle - a move which prompted local politicians and other community workers to call for the “threat” to be withdrawn.

While no group claimed responsibility for the “threat”, it was suggested that it may have emanated from vigilante group, Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD).

The Rosemount Resource Centre - which has, in the past, mediated between RAAD and members of the public - said it wasn’t aware of any threat made against Mr. McMonagle.

In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for the organisation said: “We wish to now reiterate categorically that we are not aware of any imminent or specific threat to the named individual from any group.”

The group said that, at a recent meeting with a local businessman, the ongoing “extremely volatile and dangerous” situation in Creggan was discussed.

Its statement went on: “In relation to our concerns for the individual named, it was our view that the businessman should use his contacts with Sinn Fein to convey our concerns for his safety.

“We genuinely believe that the situation in Creggan has deteriorated to a stage where some incident or other could easily escalate to a point where lives could be lost... Our concerns were relayed to others also but we would stress that in all contacts our only intention was to highlight the danger as we perceived it and to encourage restraint and caution.

“At no point was any group or organisation named in connection to the threat. Our normal procedure of informing the PSNI of any confirmed threat was not followed since no such threat was received.”

The statement concluded: “Our only intention was to use existing channels and contacts to alert those with some influence of our deep concern for both the safety of the individual and the potential for major confrontation in Creggan if cool and sensible heads do not prevail. For many years such channels of communication have been used to avoid potentially dangerous confrontations and this was our intention.

“Given the consequences of our actions we apologise unreservedly for any distress generated to those affected.”

Local Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney said it was “beyond belief” that any group would take it upon themselves to threaten the life and safety of someone who had “dedicated himself to the betterment of living conditions and quality of life of those he lives among.”

“I call on the people of Creggan, community leaders, business people and all people of good will who want to see us build a better future for all our children and grandchildren to make their voices heard in support of Sean and his family,” he added.

This was a view echoed by community leaders who said: “We wish to state our full and unequivocal support for Sean McMonagle, his family and the work he undertakes on behalf of our community. Sean’s record of work in this community stands for itself and needs no explanation or justification.”