Real IRA threatens to kill Cork drug dealers

 

GARDAÍ IN Cork have launched an investigation after dissident republicans distributed leaflets in pubs around the city warning drug dealers that they will be killed if they do not stop their activities.

Detectives said yesterday that they are taking the vigilante threat issued by the Real IRA seriously after men dressed in dark clothing visited pubs in Passage, Rochestown, Ballyphehane and Togher on Cork’s southside, and Mayfield on Cork’s northside, and distributed the leaflets.

The warning was also posted on the 32 County Sovereignty Movement’s website, in which the group, styling itself as “the Cork Brigade of Óglaigh na hÉireann” said it would no longer stand idly by and allow “our children be destroyed by drugs in our communities”.

“There will be no more individual warnings or knocks on doors,” it continued.

“This is your warning and if you continue to deal drugs, then you will be accountable for your actions by lethal force,” added the group in its statement.

The group went on to say that it had drawn up “a new list of drug dealers” and warned that it was giving individuals “this final opportunity” to stop, and that dealers must contact them to clarify that they had stopped dealing.

The group said it had already dealt with some drug dealers, and referred to an incident before last Christmas when it said “a heroin dealer was identified and tracked to the northside of the city where action was taken against him”.

The Irish Times understands that this may be a reference to a shooting last October when a 35- year-old from the southside of Cork city was left paralysed from the waist down after he was hit by a bullet when a shot was fired through the window of a house in the Hollyhill area.

Gardaí are keeping an open mind on the motive for that attack, and say that the group’s policy of not claiming responsibility for the attack to protect the security of its members allows them to exaggerate the extent of their activities.

Gardaí believe that the membership of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement in Cork is around 20-30 individuals, with the number of people actively involved in the Real IRA in the region being quite small and possibly numbering no more than a half a dozen or so.

According to one Garda source, the Real IRA were previously involved in attempts to extort money from drug dealers in the Cork area, and he suggested that the current issuing of death threats to Cork drug dealers may be an attempt to do something similar.