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McGuinness challenges RAAD to disband

12 March, 2012


Martin McGuinness has today called on vigilante group RAAD to issue a clear and definitive statement removing all threats to young people in Derry and disbanding the group.

Mr McGuinness said:

“RAAD have nothing at all to do with Irish Republicanism. As oppressors of the community in Derry they are anti-Republican. There is a groundswell of support in the city for RAAD to get off the backs of our community. That is now what needs to happen.

“RAAD are a tiny group of people. They are not representative and are not accountable to anyone but themselves. They are driven entirely by ego not by any desire to tackle drug abuse in Derry or anywhere else.

“There is also a very strong perception that some individuals associated with RAAD have profited financially from those involved in the drugs trade.  Shooting young people who have become addicted to drugs or threatening them from their homes does nothing to tackle this very serious issue. Indeed it makes the situation worse. In the most recent incident in Derry, RAAD shot two young people from a prominent Republican family who had no involvement at all in drugs.

“Drug dealing can only be tackled through on one hand the PSNI taking decisive action against drug dealers and on the other through proper support for our young people who have become addicted to drugs.

“Those people who lead RAAD and who are well known in Derry need to understand that their activities make no positive contribution whatsoever to improving the lives of the people of Derry. In reality the opposite is the case.

“The necessity for a civilised and progressive approach to drugs and those affected by them is being undermined by the brutal, thuggish and bullying actions of those who use patriotic labels for their criminality. They need to issue a clear and definitive statement removing all of the threats they have issued and disband their group once and for all.” ENDS

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