Young men threatened by RAAD are now opting to “take a flesh wound, rather than be forced from their home town and families,” according to one Derry community worker.
Michael Doherty of the Peace and Reconciliation group said that he was aware of five men who were ordered to leave the city in the past week.
Mr. Doherty said these men were informed of a RAAD threat against them and two of them are currently in hiding.
Mr. Doherty said he spent Friday night “pleading” with a 21 year old male, not to meet RAAD as they were going to shoot him.
“He told me that he thought he would ‘take the flesh wound’ rather than the hassle of leaving his family, his home and his town.”
The situation warned Mr. Doherty “will get worse.” Calling for; “Common sense to prevail before these young men turn the tables on RAAD. What if they discover who RAAD are? RAAD are not the only ones who can get guns. Then we could end up in a slaughter match. We need to identify alternatives to violence, even if this means bringing RAAD on board.” Over 200 people attended a protest rally at Guildhall Square to voice their opposition at the group on Saturday. The protest was organised following the news that RAAD issued a death threat to Ray Coyle. A city centre shop owner who has previously been shot by RAAD. Protest organiser, Colm Bryce said: “The threat against Ray Coyle was a very deliberate attack on the anti-RAAD movement but we are not going away or will we give into their threats. The important thing is to keep the debate going.
“I felt those who shared their story on Saturday, Donna Allen who son was murdered by RAAD and Paula Dillon whose son was forced from the city 14 weeks ago by RAAD, were very courageous to share their stories. I would plead with people to keep campaigning.”