IrelandClick.com 25th August 2003

Attacks follow funeral


A number of Real IRA members from across West Belfast have fled their homes in fear of a ‘Night of the Long Knives’ style blitz in the wake of the murder of Danny McGurk.

The Andersonstown News has learned that five members of the group thought to be connected to the RIRA killing of Danny McGurk last week have fled their homes.

Three of the men were told by the PSNI that they are subject to an IRA death threat. The others left after a number of homes in the Divis area were wrecked in weekend attacks by local people angry at the organisation’s increasingly criminal and anti-social behaviour.

The lower Falls is now bracing itself for an all out war on the RIRA – similar to action taken against the now disbanded IPLO in 1992.

IPLO man Samuel Ward from the Short Strand area was gunned down in a Belfast bar on 31 October 1992 when up to 100 IRA men took part in a crackdown operation to disband the organisation.

Ten other alleged members of the group were wounded in punishment shootings on the same night – many shot in the legs with rifles in order to cause maximum damage.

Four days later the leader of the IPLO’s Belfast Brigade made a statement saying the organisation was to disband.

Members of the RIRA are now fleeing their homes convinced that their days are also numbered.

One RIRA member who was involved in the fight that led to the rift and later the murder of Danny McGurk, has fled to an address in Co Down.

And we can reveal that another man who has been hiding out in Ballycastle since last Tuesday has made approaches to mainstream republicans and offered to trade information on his RIRA colleagues in a bid to save his own skin.

Mainstream republican sources are now saying that the organisation’s days are numbered and that members of the RIRA will from now on be treated as common criminals.

In the Divis area yesterday local people told the Andersonstown News that the community has ostracised all known members of the RIRA.

Shops and bars have refused to serve known members of the organisation and local people say they are no longer welcome in West Belfast.

“We don’t want them here any more,” said one woman.

“They are more interested in lining their own pockets than they are in republicanism.
“No one tried to stop the people who were wrecking their houses because no one cares.
“This area has seen this all before when the IPLO were selling drugs, murdering and raping, thinking they could get away with anything. They were soon put in their place.

“The same thing is happening to the RIRA and there are not too many people shedding tears.”

At Danny McGurk’s funeral on Saturday morning Fr Matt Wallace, who married Danny and his wife Patsy just two years ago, condemned the attack. He said his killers were not Catholic but disciples of the devil.

“What type of people would do this, are they Irish, Catholic, nationalist?
The answer is no.

“His mother described them as the devil’s disciples, drug traffickers and I believe that is the best answer.”

Journalist: Allison Morris

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