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‘I will press charges against ONH attackers’

By Evan Short

A convicted criminal ordered to leave Ardoyne by two men claiming to be from ONH says he intends to press charges against the individuals who came to his door to threaten him.

Liam Donnelly, who went into hiding this week after further threats, said he knows the identities of the men who ordered him from the area last Wednesday (March 5) and he intends to see them in court.

A statement released at the weekend, which claimed to be from ONH, said their members had visited Liam Donnelly’s home to order him to leave Belfast. Failure to do so, said the statement, would result in “military action”. It went on to say that following “a number of separate investigations” ONH were accusing him of burglaries, theft and an arson attack on a car. Donnelly, who has over 80 convictions, denies these claims.

“ONH say that they are going to force me out, but I’m not leaving the country. I have family here, my mother is 70 years of age so I’m not going anywhere,” he said.

The 43-year-old, who the North Belfast News reported on in 2009 after an apparent punishment shooting, admitted to having a lengthy criminal record but said he had none for burglary.

“It’s stuff for shoplifting and allowing myself to be carried in stolen cars but there isn’t one charge for burglary. Why didn’t the cops come to me about these burglaries if they thought I had something to do with it?”

After initially refusing to leave his Ardoyne home Liam says the police then visited him last Friday with a death threat. Leaflets were then posted through the doors of houses in Ardoyne on Friday and Saturday outlining why he had been threatened.

He said the PSNI visited him again on Wednesday night (March 12) after he had gone in to hiding to give him a second warning. The reason behind this, he says is because his attackers had heard that he was planning on pressing charges.

“Because they (ONH) have found out I’m pressing charges they have issued me another threat but I’m not going anywhere.”

He says when the two men visited him one threatened to kill him before smashing the front window of his home.

“They were kicking the door and when I went out one of them told me to leave and the other one was making a cut throat sign to me. But I’m not going anywhere.”

Liam says he is concerned for the safety of his family.

“I’m not worried about myself, although I am afraid for my kids.”

He added that despite his concerns he was determined to press charges.

“I know them. They were at my door without masks. I have been left with nothing because of this.”

A PSNI spokeswoman said the service does not comment on the security of individuals.

“We do not discuss the security of any individual. However, if we receive information that a person’s life may be at risk we will inform the relevant persons accordingly. We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk. No inference should be drawn from this.”

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