Death threats against Pastor Halliday condemned by local community

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Friday, February 17th, 2012
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Representatives from both sides of the community were united in condemnation this morning after it emerged that an organiser of the contentious Kingsmill march was issued with a death threat early yesterday. A spokesperson for the PSNI confirmed the threat, stating, “Where we receive information that a person needs to review their personal security we take appropriate steps to inform them. We never ignore anything that may put an individual at risk.”

Irwin has condemned the death threats

Newry and Armagh DUP Assemblyman  William Irwin described the threats as ‘concerning’. Speaking to Newry Times he said, “I am concerned that an anonymous threat has now been issued to Barrie Halliday as this is unwanted and obviously a concern for him and his own safety. In all of this, regardless of nationalist reaction, the focus must remain on the innocent victims and no one should be detracting from that central issue.” UUP Councillor David Taylor also spoke of his anger at the death threats. He said, “I believe the death threats made against Pastor Halliday are an extremely serious and sinister development and I wholeheartedly condemn such threats made against him.”

On the possibility of the march escalating into trouble the PSNI stated, “Police are aware of an application made to the Parades Commission in respect of a parade in the Glenanne area on 25th February. As with all notified events it is the PSNI’s intent that it should pass without incident and with as little disruption as possible to the local community. We will provide an appropriate and proportionate service to ensure the Parade’s Commission’s determination is upheld and would ask for the continued support and co-operation of organisers, participants and the local community.”

Councillor David Taylor hopes there will not be any trouble at the commemorative event. He said, “It is my sincere hope that sense will prevail and that no trouble will emanate from this march taking place.” Calling on nationalist representatives to help calm the situation, Taylor added, “I do not consider this march to pose a threat to anybody in the local community and as such I would call on Sinn Fein and SDLP representatives to show responsible leadership in the period leading up to the event and to avoid perpetrating actions or making comments which could serve to heighten tensions in respect of this issue.”

Cllr. Irwin MLA reiterated his belief that the community should remember the main reason for the march; justice for the victims of Kingsmill. He stated, “I have been having ongoing discussions with the march organisers and I felt it was important that they demonstrated clearly that the march was solely victims centred and could not be construed as being anything else by other elements. This has been achieved with bands withdrawing from the walk and the numbers taking part have been greatly reduced. I feel this represents a willingness on the part of the organisers to keep the focus firmly on the families and their fight for justice, that after-all is the key issue here.”

Local republican group Eirigi also commented on the march. Speaking to Newry Times, Stephen Murney, the Newry spokesman said, “We are aware that there are many concerns with this proposed march and we share the resident’s views and concerns. I believe that this march has been organised for reasons that are designed to heighten tensions in the area. There are alternative routes available and the march should be rerouted and should not go through the village. Eirígí stand in solidarity with, and fully support, the residents of Whitecross and we believe that everyone has the right to live free from sectarian harassment and intimidation.”

Independent Councillor Davy Hyland hopes the march will pass off peacefully but stated his belief that it should be rerouted. “This march should have been rerouted away from Whitecross, the residents are opposed to it. I have told the residents that I am right behind them and I fully support them in their opposition to it. There has never been a march like this before so why is there one being organised now? It will only serve to heighten tensions in the area. The families of those killed at Kingsmill have every right to remember their loved ones, and they do that every year at the site of the killing. There are no issues with that type of event but to march through a mainly nationalist area where the majority of the residents are opposed to such a march defies logic.”

With FAIR Director Willie Frazer playing a prominent role in the march, Hyland believes this will also prove to be problematic. “Willie Frazer has a reputation for causing trouble and stoking tensions. Unfortunately it seems he uses victims to serve his attention seeking needs. We seen that several years ago during the “Love Ulster” parade in Dublin. He has also recently announced that he’s planning to return to Dublin at Easter and march past the GPO, it’s obvious that he’s an attention seeker and trouble maker.” Speaking about the death threats against Barrie Halliday, Hyland added, “I disagree with any such threats being made.”

Related Articles:
Death threat issued against Kingsmill march organiser
Murphy blasts Parades Commission go-ahead for ‘inflammatory march’
Kennedy blasts Sinn Fein and SDLP over Kingsmill march opposition
Sinn Fein: “Kingsmill march must be rerouted”


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  1. […] Davey Highland have all said they are opposing it along with hundreds of residents of whitecross Death threats against Pastor Halliday condemned by local community – Newry Times | Newry Times Reply With […]

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