RAAD ‘apology’ ridiculed

A Derry MLA has ridiculed a vigilante group after it apologised for any “distress” caused by a late night bomb attack in the Brandywell area of the city.

Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) says it was responsible for Thursday night’s bomb attack which happened at Lecky Road just after 11 p.m.

Police said damage was caused to properties, but no-one was injured.

Chief Inspector Jon Burrows condemned the attack and said those responsible had showed no regard for the community.

The incident was also condemned by local politicians.

In a statement sent to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, RAAD said it was responsible for a “number” of co-ordinated attacks in the Brandywell area on Thursday night. The vigilante gang added: “RAAD would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all civilians for any distress, be it mental or physical, which we caused by damaging homes on Thursday night... We also repudiate the condemnation by politicians who cry crocodile tears but forget their own past when it suits.”

Sinn Fein junior minister and local MLA Martina Anderson, who met with local residents shortly after the attack, said: “No apology or explanation by any group can justify the attack on the Brandywell community last Thursday night nor, for that matter, any of the attacks on communities across Derry in recent times. If these type of reckless actions continue, it is only a matter of time before we witness fatalities.

“The best and only statement these groups should make is that they will desist from any further activities and go away.”

In a separate development, RAAD has claimed that a gang led by a convicted drug dealer is holding people to “ransom” over drug debts. “These ‘debts’ are then only paid off when [named person] seizes children’s X-Boxes, Play Stations and quads or even parents’ jewellery. RAAD will only stop targeting [named person] when he is dead. Anyone who facilitates his activities will become a target,” the group said.