The Sunday Times - Ireland

September 21, 2003

Dissidents warned by police of IRA attacks
Liam Clarke

POLICE fear the Provisional IRA is targeting republican dissidents in Northern Ireland. Several people whom the IRA has accused of being dissidents have gone into hiding after being warned by police that their lives are in danger.

Police believe that the IRA wants to intimidate dissident rivals into inaction and is willing to kill to reinforce its threat.

Brendan “Shando” Shannon, a veteran republican, recently fled Belfast after a death threat. He was told by police that the Provisional IRA planned to murder him on his way to or from work in the Royal Victoria hospital. Shannon is a former member of both the Official and the Provisional IRA. He denies that he is now affiliated to any particular group.

Other suspected dissidents have been summoned to meetings with the IRA. Redemptorist priests in Clonard monastery have tried to mediate after being approached by some of those being threatened.

A security source said: “The IRA wants to slap these people down, intimidate them if possible and attack a few of them.”

Anthony McIntyre, a former IRA prisoner, said: “The intention seems to be to force people out. At least two people were told that if they didn’t hand themselves in to the IRA they would be shot dead.”

Negotiations involving Sinn Fein, the Ulster Unionist party and the British and Irish governments are continuing. Likely dates for assembly elections are thought to be November 27 or December 4.

David Trimble, the Unionist leader, has assured his party officers that a move on IRA decommissioning and a positive IRA statement

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