Businesses have been warned not to serve members of the PSNI in a sinister threat reminiscent of the darkest days of the Troubles.
A statement issued to the County Derry Post newspaper, purportedly on behalf of the dissident republican grouping Óglaigh na hÉireann, threatened “shops, food outlets, garages and all commercial premises” who serve members of the PSNI.
The “spokesperson” for Óglaigh na hÉireann also claimed responsibiliy on behalf of the group for a recent shooting in Dungiven. Last Wednesday, a 22-year-old man was kidnapped in the city of Londonderry and taken to Dungiven, before being subjected to “a paramilitary style shooting” in the Hass Road area.
The statement read: “We’d like to send out a warning to shops, food outlets, garages and all commercial premises serving the PSNI, RUC and British establishment. We have been monitoring the situation of all these premises over the last number of months. They have 12 hours to desist. Do not come under our radar again.”
DUP Councillor Alan Robinson said the threat was a throwback to the 1970s and 1980s.
“These people are living in another world,” he said.
“What decade are they from? You have people here who are trying to earn a living, trying to put a few pounds in their pockets. I can’t say strongly enough how much we don’t need these men running about at night time in wooly masks, threatening local businesses.
“Whenever a customer comes through the door of a local business, are they supposed to ask each and every one if they have any association with the PSNI?
“This is from a different era. These are the kind of threats made in the 1970s and ‘80s but here we are in 2016.
“Who are these faceless cowards to dictate who should or who should not be served in local shops?
“People want their kids to get a decent education, they want a health service, to have a job and an acceptable standard of living and they want a place that they are proud to call home. These groups represent no one but themselves.
“Whether it’s the template used by the IRA in the past or the current model used by these latest terrorist groups, they need to get off the backs of the community.”