Masked man threatens Gullion forestry workers

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Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
Community, News
Sinn Féin Newry & Armagh MLA Megan Fearon has condemned those behind a threat which has resulted in workers engaged in essential forestry work in the Ring of Gullion AONB, leaving the area. The MLA says she is seeking an urgent meeting with senior Forestry Officials to discuss the situation. According to Fearon, a group of sub contractors had been engaged in essential environmental works to deal with trees effected by larch tree disease. One of the employees was approached by a masked individual and told to cease work immediately and leave the site. “This was a very sinister and frightening experience not only for the person involved but for all those working on this project,” she told Newry Times. “The contractors in fear of potential harm to themselves, their employees and plant, have now left the site.” “Any threat to people going about their work is an attack on the whole community and those of us who live here in south Armagh are rightly outraged at these actions.” The Sinn Féin MLA called on the threat to be lifted. “The individual or individuals responsible for issuing this threat must lift it immediately.” Slieve Gillion area Councillor Mickey Larkin, commenting on the issue, said, “Essential work has been ongoing to remove a significant number of trees in this region which have been affected by larch tree disease. “The main drive at Slieve Gullion park will close soon for safety reasons (movement of heavy machinery), although Forest Service expect that it will temporarily reopen for the Easter period. This work will continue until Mid-Summer at the earliest. “I had hoped that inconvenience to local people and businesses in relation to this work would be kept as far as practically possible to a minimum, but this threat to workers has caused serious concerns.” Local police confirmed that they received a report of a threat being made against a man. Sergeant Sam Hoey said, “Enquiries are ongoing and I would appeal to anyone who has any information about this incident to contact Police at Armagh on 101. “Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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