‘RAAD masquerading as policemen’ says former Mid-Ulster MP

Bernadette McAliskey addresses the hundreds attendint he protest against RAAD at Guildhall Square. (2904SL06) Photo: Stephen Latimer

Bernadette McAliskey addresses the hundreds attendint he protest against RAAD at Guildhall Square. (2904SL06) Photo: Stephen Latimer

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A FORMER MP for Mid-Ulster launched a scything verbal broadside against a murderous republican vigilante group in Derry city centre last weekend.

Bernadette McAliskey (pictured left) who served as MP for the Mid- Ulster constituency from 1969-1974 was speaking at a protest rally against the actions of Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD). The event was organised to demand the lifting of a recently issued death threat against a man they had previously shot in Derry in 2010.

The rally also came against a backdrop of the shooting of an 18-year-old self confessed drug user in Derry’s Creggan estate last Thursday night who was delivered by appointment for a so-called punishment attack by his mother. It also emerged on Monday that five more young men have fled Derry in fear of their lives after threats from RAAD.

RAAD emerged in 2008 and have wounded scores of young men in Derry. In February they claimed responsibility for the murder of Andrew Allen at his home in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

A crowd of around 700 people heard Mrs McAliskey say that so many people take drugs and alcohol because society had failed them. She also said that democracy in Northern Ireland was failing and that in Tyrone in the 21st century food kitchens were in operation and there was less social housing available to people now when properties were occupied in protest in Caledon in the late 1960’s.

“Democracy isn’t working. But, the last thing that a democracy isn’t working needs is an idiot, a militarist and a mug with a gun who wants to impose democracy on the population. And why? Because he wants to be a policeman, but he doesn’t want to be in the big police, he wants to be a policeman all on his own!

“He thinks that somehow or other this provides a republican ideology to the fact he is dying to get his hands on a uniform again.”

The mother of murder victim Andrew Allen also challenged RAAD to leave the scene. Referring to Derry’s award of the title of UK City of Culture, Donna Allen said that the city currently did not deserve that title but instead should be called a “city of murderers.”