L eading community representatives have come out in force this week to support Ardoyne community workers being “held under threat” by a series of sinister letters and leaflets circulated in the area.
Political, religious and community leaders gathered in Ardoyne this week to show solidarity against the series of letters which warns them not to engage with the PSNI.
The leaflets are the latest stage in the period of disquiet which has followed the Twelfth of July parade and the arrest of Alan Lundy Jnr.
This has included ongoing graffiti and attacks on the homes and cars of local republicans.
Two separate leaflets were posted through doors in Ardoyne this week with a number of allegations against people working in the community. One anonymous leaflet, calling itself The Proclamation, made a number of allegations against community workers in the area, including false claims they handed over details of young people in the area to police earlier this year.
Another letter from the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective was also handed over to the staff of Community Restorative Justice warning them not to engage with the PSNI.
The letter which at one stage reads, “I know you will comply with my request to desist from any involvement with the PSNI…” was handed in to the Community Restorative Justice Ireland office while a crowd of around 35 strong gathered outside. It was also then brought to the Ardoyne Community Centre.
A former spokesman for GARC insisted this week they were not behind The Proclamation leaflet, despite large chunks of the bulletin containing the same text as the GARC letter and GARC members having delivered the leaflet.
The sense of fear in the community is now at such a height that an inter agency meeting that was to be held in Ardoyne Community centre last week was cancelled. Another meeting planned for this week had been relocated to another location due to fears for the safety of those taking part.
Respected community leaders in the area including Fr Gary Donegan, founder of PIPS Philip McTaggart, Sally Smith from Ardoyne Womens Group and political and leaders and other community workers have all come put in opposition to the letters, saying they are simply an attempt to intimidate local people and drag the area back to the dark and fearful days of the Troubles.
A leaflet from the IRSP and a response by Sinn Féin were also distributed in the area this week.