RDA' rejects Strabane attack blame

A newly formed dissident republican group operating out of the North West last night hit back angrily at reports that it carried out a 'punishment style' beating in Strabane last week.

The Republican Defence Army (RDA) denied any involvement in the brutal beating of 59-year-old Paddy Ryan in Lisnafin Park last Wednesday night.

@Body Text:In a phone call to the 'Journal' using a recognised codeword a spokesman rejected reports published in a local newspaper claiming the group had admitted responsibility.

The 'Strabane Chronicle' reported that it was contacted by a person claiming to represent the 'Republican Defence Association' claiming that its members carried out the attack.

The victim is still in hospital after suffering injuries to his head, arms and legs during the incident. He was attacked by a gang of six masked men, one of whom was carrying a shotgun, as he lay on the settee in his home.

The attack was reportedly linked to a family feud.

In their statement to the 'Journal' the RDA said: "We totally refute any suggestion that we were involved. We did not contact any other newspaper in relation to any incident or activity carried out by RDA.

"If we have reason to do so, it will be done through established channels."

The spokesman added: "We are currently investigating the matter and if we find out who has used our name to claim responsibility they will be dealt with severely."

@Normal: The RDA claimed the organisation was established "due to the demand from republican families for protection in the fight against anti-social behaviour, criminality and drug pushing in Donegal, Derry, Tyrone and Belfast."

The RDA announced their existence recently by carrying out a paramilitary show of strength in Doneyloop.