Derry Journal

UDA Target McGuinness
Friday 14th May 2004

REPUBLICANS IN Derry say they are 'seriously concerned' that loyalists are on the verge of carrying out an attack in the Bogside-Brandywell area and that the target could be a leading republican - possibly even Martin McGuinness.

Their fears follow further sightings of leading loyalists acting suspiciously in various parts of the Bogside and Brandywell.

One source has confirmed that a leading loyalist was spotted twice in one day in the street where Martin McGuinness lives.

At Easter Sinn Fein said they were concerned that a leading loyalist had been seen acting suspiciously in the Bogside and warned people to be vigilant.

These concerns increased this week after up to four loyalists were seen travelling in two cars in the Bogside/Brandywell area.

Sinn Fein's Raymond McCartney has called on all republicans and nationalist to review their personal security after the latest sighting of unionist paramilitaries in the Bogside/Brandywell area.

Mr. McCartney stated: "On Tuesday of this week it was reported to one of our local representatives that two cars, one containing one man and the other three men, were observed driving in and around the Bogside and Brandywell areas.

"The person who spotted this activity observed the cars over several minutes and was able to identify the drivers of both cars. He is no doubt that from behaviour there were acting in consort."

He went on: "This sighting has been the latest in a series over the past couple of months in which this same loyalist has been seen near the homes of Sinn FÈin members, including that of Martin McGuinness, Mitchel McLaughlin and Declan Kearney.

"They have also been seen taking photographs of the homes of republicans and their cars."

Following the sighting at Easter there were claims by some loyalists sources that the people were involved in 'cross community' work but this has been rejected by Sinn Fein.

Mr. McCartney said: "The consistent involvement of this person in these activities defies any suggestions that he is involved in any semblance of cross community activity and ridicules other attempts in recent times to justify this type of activity.

"Sinn Fein reaffirms it supports and encourages genuine cross community work and will continue to do so.

"Not withstanding our support for cross community projects republicans and nationalists need to be mindful of this build up of unionist paramilitary activity which is suggestive of a potential attack on this community."

He continued: "Given the crisis within Unionism and the increase in attacks against nationalists, such as the attacks on the homes of Sinn Fein councillors, the intimidation on new residents in Sandy Row and the pipe bombs attacks in Antrim and Maghera it is blatantly obvious that loyalism is preparing for further attacks.

"These attacks and other loyalist activity continues with apparent impunity, and the question needs to be asked who is directing these unionist paramilitaries to act in this way at this time?

"Given the history of collusion between loyalism and British intelligence agencies Sinn Fein is calling on nationalists and republicans to be vigilant and review their personnel security."

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