BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Five arrests in threats inquiry

Five arrests in threats inquiry

Mark Durkan has been meeting with Chief Constable Hugh Orde
Police investigating death threats against district policing partnership members have arrested five people in County Tyrone.
Four men and a woman were detained following a police operation in Strabane at about 0700 BST on Thursday.

Police said the people were being questioned about dissident republican activity over a period of time.

The arrests came ahead of a meeting between a SDLP delegation and Chief Constable Hugh Orde to discuss the intimidation, including a death threat against Policing Board vice chairman Denis Bradley.

The threat made by the dissident republican Real IRA came on Wednesday, hours after Mr Bradley condemned a campaign of intimidation against Catholic members of district policing partnerships in Northern Ireland.

Last month, Mr Bradley received bullets through the post, also thought to have been sent by dissident republicans.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the threat to Mr Bradley showed that intimidation was being stepped up.

"The fact is these faceless and gutless people are determined to make their presence felt," he said.

"They are determined to stand in the face of everything that is right and proper in terms of taking the Good Friday Agreement forward."

Early on Wednesday, a car at the home of Londonderry district policing group member Marian Quinn was destroyed in an arson attack.

The fact is these faceless and gutless people are determined to make their presence felt

Mark Durkan
SDLP leader
A breeze block was put through the back window of Mrs Quinn's disabled husband's car at Coshowen, in Galliagh. A petrol container was found on the back seat.

Mrs Quinn said the police warned her on Tuesday night that they had received a threat from the Real IRA that all Catholic members of the DPP throughout Northern Ireland were what they called "legitimate targets".

Mr Bradley said the attack on Mrs Quinn and others in the policing partnerships were reprehensible and must be totally condemned.

"This attack was an attack not just on Mrs Quinn and her family, but on the entire Catholic community by members of the Catholic community," he said.

"It is totally unacceptable and I know that the Catholic community will not allow itself to be threatened and bullied in this way."


Earlier, Catholic Primate Archbishop Sean Brady condemned the intimidation, saying it was a "sinister attempt" to rid the organisations of Catholic representation.

Stormont Security Minister Jane Kennedy called the Derry attack "the lowest form of bullying".

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness condemned the threats as deplorable and unjustifiable and said the IRA was not involved.

He said dissident groups were responsible and should disband.
Denis Bradley: Received death threat

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble described those responsible for the recent attacks as absolutely despicable.

Mr Trimble said attempts to intimidate those involved in providing civic involvement in policing should be rejected by everyone.


The attack was the latest in a series of threats to members of policing partnerships across the province, which have led to two members resigning.

Teresa Rooney, a member of Cookstown DPP, stood down on Tuesday and last week an independent nationalist in Fermanagh resigned following a threat from the Real IRA.

Other attacks have included an attack on a car belonging to a DPP member in Strabane which was set alight outside the school where he was teaching and a hoax bomb which was left outside the home of a DPP chairman in Tyrone.

News of the incidents came as Policing Oversight Commissioner Tom Constantine said that threats from dissident republicans to kill community policing board members were the biggest test yet for the new arrangements.

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