Increased loyalist threat
Increased loyalist threat

Several Gaelic sports clubs across the north have been forced to increase their security after a loyalist paramilitary group made threats to kill members.

Three clubs, two in south Derry and one in south-west Antrim, have been told that members are under threat from an unnamed loyalist group.

The threats were made during a phone call to a radio station by a caller using a recognised code word two weeks ago.

Derry GAA spokesman Sean Gunning last night condemned the threats.

“Everyone would deplore such a threat,” he said.

“Any threat like this needs to be taken seriously. I think we were all led to believe we would never see such things as this again. To be honest it has come as a bit of a shock to everyone.

“It has to be taken seriously and some clubs are looking at their security as a result of the threat.”

In May 1997 Bellaghy Wolfe Tones chairman Sean Brown was abducted and murdered by the LVF as he locked up at the GAA club’s premises.

A spokeswoman for the PSNI declined to give any details about the recent threats.


Meanwhile, nore than 40 Polish people have been forced to flee their homes after they came under threat from loyalists.

Some have left their homes after attacks or threats while others have left the North completely.

Racial violence by loyalists surged as a result of a recent football fixture between Poland and a ‘Northern Ireland’ team in Belfast.

Running battles broke out between Polish football supporters and loyalists. Since then, there have been a series of retaliatory attacks on the homes of Polish workers in south and east Belfast.

The Polish Association says people are fearful and some have sought emergency accommodation while others, at least five, have left the country.

Hungarians, Lithuanians and Slovakians have also been targeted by loyalists following mini-riots in a number of different parts of Belfast on Saturday 28 March.

“The people that have left their homes are mostly people with young children,” said Maciek Bator of the Polish Association.

Although Mr Bator said there had been intimidation in recent weeks, most people decided to leave of their own accord because they were scared.

“They said they had good relationships with their neighbours and people living in their streets but that they still felt it was best to leave before something might happen,” he added.


Meanwhile, the North’s First Minister, the DUP’s Peter Robinson claimed loyalists had shown “restraint” by not attacking Catholics in recent weeks. He claimed actions by republican armed groups on the British Crown forces had been an attempt to provoke a loyalist response.

“I think people should be encouraged by the very mature reaction of whose who are in the leadership of the loyalist paramilitary organisations in not falling into this trap and in giving that leadership to those over whom they have influence,” he said.

“All I can do is encourage people who are involved in paramilitary organisations that now is the time to close down those operations, now is the time for weapons to be decommissioned.”

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