Direct treats made against prominent republicans


The PSNI has told eirigi general secretary Breandan Mac Cionnaith that he is likely to be targeted in a gun attack in the near future.

Mr Mac Cionnaith is also well known as spokesperson for the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition in Portadown. Last week, the annual Orange Order’s Drumcree parade was again prevented from marching down the nationalist Garvaghy Road, as it has been since protests were held in 1995 and 1996.

Party chairperson Brian Leeson said the form of ‘warning’ from the PSNI fitted a long established pattern whereby minimal information is supplied.

The PSNI was being urged to pass on further information, including the source and nature of the threat so that Mr Mac Cionnaith could better assess the level of risk and take appropriate precautions if possible.

The prominent republican socialist has previously received a number of previous death threats, and has been the victim of at least one failed assassination bid against him.

“In the last number of weeks, certain unionist politicians and other ‘leaders’ have been deliberately attempting to stir up sectarian divisions in Portadown and other parts of the Six Counties,” Mr Leeson said.

“Given that context, it is unsurprising that this sabre-rattling seems to have resulted in the planning of armed attacks. The fact that this threat comes in the aftermath of the hysterical reaction of many unionist politicians to the Parades Commission ruling on Ardoyne is hardly a coincidence.

“As has been the case for centuries past unionism is once again responding to perceived threat with violent words and now potentially violent actions. With the Orange marching season reaching its climax this month, all nationalists, particularly those living in vulnerable areas, should be mindful of their own security and safety.”

There were also telephoned death threats to two Sinn Fein Assembly members, Caral Ni Chuilin and Gerry Kelly, according to the party.

Both took part in a protest by nationalists against a sectarian march through Carrick Hill earlier this month, which saw Mr Kelly briefly carried on the hood of a PSNI Landrover as he remonstrated with police, and Ms Ni Chuilin injured as she went to his aid.

North Belfast councillor Conor Maskey said no devices had been found, but called on the Orange Order and political unionism to use their influence to calm tensions.

“Everyone deserves to have a peaceful summer and all those with influence should ensure their words do not add to any already existing tension,” he said.

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2013 Irish Republican News