Drug dealers threatened
Drug dealers threatened


The breakaway republican armed group Oglaigh Na hEireann (ONH) has threatened to punish more than 50 people it says are drug-dealers in west Belfast.

A list containing the names of 54 alleged dealers has been handed over to a priest.

It is understood the ONH list of targets had been compiled over several months and some of the names on the list have been provided by other dealers. Some of those named are accused of supplying a range of drugs including heroin.

It is believed a number have previously been the victims of punishment shootings but have returned to selling drugs.

Oglaigh Na hEireann (the Gaelic form of IRA) has said it was issuing the threat in response to requests from the community. In the absence of an accepted police force, it has long been traditional in republican areas for the community to turn to the armed groups, such as the Provisional IRA.

A spokesman for the republican group urged those named to “come forward and admit their guilt” to the organisation. Those who “stop their activities” will have no action taken against them -- but those who don’t face a punishment shooting.

Belfast SDLP councillor Colin Keenan said the development was “very concerning” and that “paramilitary shootings are in no way a benefit to society and communities”.

Mr Keenan said “the rule of law should be given its place”.

“There may be community anger in relation to people dealing drugs but the rule of law must be preserved.

“If people have evidence use it in open court, get them into court.

“There should be no form of summary justice.”

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