Red Hand Defenders threaten Lurgan republicans
Three republicans from Lurgan in North Armagh are under serious threat from loyalist killer gangs, according to Sinn Féin assembly member Dara O'Hagan.
``On Saturday night, 3 June, the RUC went to the doors of the three men and told them a threat, issued in the name of the Red Hand Defenders, had been phoned in through the Samaritans,'' said O'Hagan, who represents the Upper Bann constituency. ``According to the information we have, an authenticated code word was used''. O'Hagan added that the RUC told one of the men, ``this is serious this time''.
One of those threatened told An Phoblacht that in the past number of weeks he has been followed and believes loyalists are targeting him.
In a further development, one of the targeted republican wasthreatened by the RUC on Monday 5 June. He was driving past a parked RUC vehicle when one of three RUC men standing at the side of the vehicle formed his hands into the shape of a gun and made a shooting gesture. When the man approached the RUC man and asked him about his gesture, the RUC men got in the car and drove off.
Dara O'Hagan said the incident ``demonstrates just how unacceptable the RUC is to nationalists. This is all the more sinister given that just 48 hours earlier, the RUC had told the man of a very serious threat to his life issued by the Red Hand Defenders''.