A THREAT from dissident republicans to shoot two Donegal brothers is part of a pattern developing in the county. At least one other person has fled after similar threats, the Donegal News has learned.
Gardai have declined to comment on the threats but confirmed they did recently warn ‘people’ of a dissident death threat against them.
Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn told the Donegal News yesterday (Thursday) he is satisfied the brothers, from near Letterkenny, who were threatened, are innocent and have no involvement in criminality.
He said these latest threats would appear to be forming a pattern in the county where dissidents are threatening to shoot people under the guise of claiming they are involved in criminality. He has vowed to expose their threats.
“I know one young man left Donegal in recent weeks after being threatened. I would appeal to anyone who has been or is being threatened by these people, who are calling themselves the IRA, to go to the gardai or a local clergyman or come to me.
“It is terrifying for anyone who is given 48 hours to leave the county or they will be shot, in light of murders which have happened not that long ago. They have to take the threats seriously,” Deputy MacLochlainn said.
He explained that he was contacted by a mutual friend of those who were warned by gardai last Tuesday that there was a death threat made against them.
“They were accused of being drug dealers and given 48 hours to leave the county by these people from Derry calling themselves the IRA. They were terrified. Gardai obviously took the threat seriously when they came out to warn them.
“These are adult men with families from a very decent family, not involved in criminality. After visiting them at home I decided to go on local radio in Donegal and Derry to point this out and to try to mediate and help the family and get a message to these dissidents,” he said.
The Sinn Féin TD condemned the dissidents and their threats.
“These people don’t care and they don’t speak for anyone in Donegal. It is the job of the gardai only in Donegal to deal with policing.”
The Buncrana based TD called on anyone in the county threatened by a dissident organisation to come forward. He is convinced there are more than three people threatened in recent times.
“I have called on these dissidents to remove their threats against these two brothers because their allegations of involvement in drug dealing are untrue. Mediation is under way. It is worrying that there seems to be a pattern emerging.
“These people who are calling themselves the IRA are in my opinion a number of new lads and older, disgruntled people utterly opposed to the peace process. We have no influence over them – they would see us as much of an enemy as the British state. They have threatened Martin McGuinness and other members of Sinn Féin. So much so that I take my own security arrangements seriously.”
Deputy MacLochlainn pointed out that he was able to shine a spotlight on this problem without identifying those being threatened or causing damage to their reputations.
“I will make their threats public and challenge them in every single incident,” he concluded.