Reporter is threatened over IRA allegations

Just days after the Provisional IRA dumped all of its weapons, a journalist has been threatened with “retribution”

because of stories he has written about the group.

A
Sunday World reporter wrote a piece alleging that an IRA officer had
pocketed £40,000 from the proceeds of a robbery he had been involved in.

The
journalist, who asked not to be named for security reasons, told Press
Gazette: “I was visited by police and told that the Republicans want to
take punitive action against me. They advised me to be careful of my
movements and not to take the same path home every evening.

“They said it was definitely the Provisional IRA.”

The message also stated that the IRA knew what pubs he drank in.

The cross-border Sunday World is familiar with paramilitary intimidation.

Four
years ago reporter Martin O’Hagan was murdered by Loyalist gunmen and
in recent weeks newsagents have been threatened as part of a Loyalist
boycott.

The Belfast-based journalist at the centre of the
current threat said: “It’s very sad that on the one hand they are
disarming but at the same time they are threatening journalists.

“Talk
of them taking some sort of retribution against me is not very nice for
my family but you can’t be intimidated about what you write.

“My information was correct and the problem is really for them to sort out – they just don’t like reading about it.

“At
the Sunday World we write stories about all sorts of criminal and
gangsters – we don’t have any allegiance, if we get the stories we
write them.”

The National Union of Journalists has called on the
Republican movement to state categorically that the recent threat does
not have official sanction.

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