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Republican receives threats

16 June, 2004


North Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Kathy Stanton has hit out after unionist paramilitaries issued death threats to Ardoyne republican Eddie Copeland and his girlfriend.

Ms Stanton said:

" Last week Eddie Copeland was visited by the PSNI and told that he was under threat from unionist paramilitaries. Yesterday a Belfast newsroom received a call accompanied by a code word saying that a bomb had been left at Dunnes Stores on Flax Street and that the target was Eddie Copeland's girlfriend who works in the store. The store was evacuated and considerable disruption was caused to the local community. The woman in question has since felt unable to resume work.

" Eddie Copeland has long been the target of unionist paramilitary gangs and the Crown Forces and has in the past been seriously injured in a bomb attack carried out by unionists and a shooting carried out by a British soldier. The decision by the unionist paramilitaries to turn their attentions to Mr Copeland's girlfriend is a deeply worrying development.

" I am calling on unionist political leaders to begin showing some leadership on these sorts of issues. In recent weeks we have seen unionist paramilitaries returning to attacking nationalists and republicans with pipe bombs yet the response of political unionism has been very poor. Unionist politicians must act and act now to ensure that this sort of activity does not escalate even further as we enter the summer months." ENDS

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