Republican News · Thursday 19 November 1998

[An Phoblacht]

Rathenraw challenges RUC

Residents from the Rathenraw housing estate in Antrim have challenged RUC statements about drug dealing.

The Rathenraw Action Group describe sub-divisional commander for Antrim Supt Richard Meeke's claim that the RUC have been involved in bringing down the number of drug dealers on the Rathenraw estate from `more than a dozen to one' as ``wildly inaccurate''.

The Action Group said, ``at no time in the Rathenraw area has there been 11 or 13 `families' peddling drugs, not even two years ago in its heyday. There has never been more than four `families' involved, and altogether there has only been six or seven `families' at most over the past ten years.''

The Rathenraw group also demanded ``at least some credit'' that along with local residents they ``were responsible for the voluntary leaving of one drug family''.

In the last two weeks the number of attacks on Action Group members has also increased. One female member has been assaulted twice at her place of work, one member had two concrete blocks thrown through his rear car window while another had a kitchen window smashed.

The group also said, ``there have been numerous threats on our members, including two individual death threats and one warning our members that their cars would be burnt.''

``Our group, with the people of Rathenraw, have acted, with absolutely no help from Superintendent Meeke or the RUC, and at great risk to ourselves, to deal with the dealers.'' The Action Group claimed that it wasn't until they organised themselves and instigated action against the pushers that ``various political parties ranging from the Democratic Left to the DUP and including Meeke jump on the bandwagon with a a hearts and minds campaign.''

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