The Guardian’s Henry McDonald reports from anarchic Londonderry on the continuing activities of vigilante group, Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD). Watch the accompanying video report here. From the Guardian report
Some RAAD members are ex-Provisionals who back the peace process but still take up the gun against members of their own communities accused of antisocial activities. Others connected to RAAD have joined organisations such as the Real IRA, which is also running a campaign of terror attacks against police officers, security installations and even high-street banks in Derry.
Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Féin MP, secret IRA negotiator with MI5 in talks leading to the Provisionals’ 1994 ceasefire and Northern Ireland‘s deputy first minister, has now taken a very public stand against some of his former comrades. In an interview with the Guardian just 24 hours after a young man turned up for an “appointment” to be shot, McGuinness called on his fellow Derry citizens to hand over information about RAAD to the police – a call in the past that could have cost a republican their life.
Behind the claims of popular demand for short-circuit, rough Taliban-style “justice” there is a wider political power-play going on in Derry between those republicans in Sinn Féin who support the power-sharing settlement in Northern Ireland, and those who oppose it and see the peace process as a “sell-out”. The huge numbers of men being shot or expelled from the city where the Troubles began in 1969 is a direct challenge to the authority of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the power-sharing executive at Stormont.
In response to the latest round of shootings Matt Baggott, the PSNI’s chief constable, promised the body that scrutinises his force – the Northern Ireland Policing Board – that his officers would bring those behind the vigilante terror campaign to justice.
So far no one has been charged over the killing of Andrew Allen. So far no one has been jailed over a single “punishment” attack or beating that has taken place in Derry in the past 12 months.