ic Derry - Greysteel Concern at Masked Activity

**If it LOOKS like a duck and it WALKS like a duck and it QUACKS like a duck...

Greysteel Concern at Masked Activity Sep 12 2003

RESIDENTS OF the County Derry village of Greysteel have said they are concerned at reports of masked men being seen in the village and they have queried as to what they were up to.

The 'Journal' was contacted by several residents of Greysteel who reported that earlier this week a group of masked men had been seen in the village.

One man who asked not to be identified said: "These men seemed to know exactly what they were up to and who they were looking for.

"They were seen in several parts of the village and their appearance caused quite a lot of concern to people around here."

Another resident, a woman, said: "My child reported seeing a group of masked men and this immediately caused me a lot of concern.

"As far as I can gather they seemed to be looking for specific people around the village."

Other residents said they were unsure what was happening when the men were seen but it appears that there were no incidents during the incident.

When contacted about the incident Sinn Fein councillor for the area, Martin McGuigan, said he had heard about the appearance of the masked men but had no information as to what was going on.

He said: "I have been contacted by several residents of Greysteel who told me about this incident but I cannot say for definite what is behind it.

"Like everyone else I can speculate what is behind the appearance of these men and I have to wonder has it anything to do with a recent upsurge in antisocial activity in the Greysteel area."

He went on: "In recent weeks we have seen a marked increase in anti social activity in this area. "There has been cars burnt and mindless vandalism which has caused massive inconvenience to the local community.

"We, at Sinn Fein, have been inundated with complaints about the actions of what is undoubtedly a very small minority of residents in Greysteel.

"Local people have reported that contacting the PSNI seems to have no effect as nothing ever seems to be done about the ongoing problem."

Colr. McGuigan continued: "I do not know if there is any connection between the anti social activity and the activities of these masked men in the village.

"Perhaps it is a case where the local community in one form or another decided to do something about this problem.

"If people are concerned about masked men being seen in the village they should contact Sinn Fein.

"And if this is connected to the anti-social problem then the whole community has a part to play in stamping it out."

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