AN Óglaigh na hÉireann attack on an alleged member of the Ballymurphy ‘Rat Pack’ is just the first move in the dismantling of the notorious gang, the republican group told the Andersonstown News yesterday.
In a chilling message designed to encourage the Rat Pack to call it a day, ONH said a unit was sent to the man’s house last Thursday night with orders to “mutilate” him by firing a high-powered shotgun into both of his legs.
The man was inside the house when the ONH squad arrived, but as they attempted to gain access the intended victim made his escape on foot.
“It is still our intention to carry out this punishment,” said ONH, adding: “ONH will not tolerate threats from any quarter.”
Tensions in Ballymurphy have been climbing since the Milltown grave of RIRA member Jo-Jo O-Connor was badly damaged by vandals in May. In the wake of the destruction ONH pointed the finger of blame firmly at the Rat Pack. But the republican group say the attack on the grave was just the most inflammatory in a litany of criminal and anti-social acts carried out by the gang.
‘Belfast Brigade leadership of ONH have completed a long and thorough investigation into crime in the upper Springfield area,” said ONH. “As a result they have identified a gang from greater Ballymurphy involved in drug-dealing, house-breaking, the destruction of a republican grave and the threatening of republicans.
“On the evening of July 12, a unit was sent to the house of X [name withheld by the Andersonstown News] with the intention of mutilating him by shooting him in both legs with a high-powered shotgun. X fled his house
“It is still our intention to carry out this punishment. ONH will not tolerate threats to their members from any quarter. X’s only alternative is to leave Ireland immediately or, at a time and place of our choosing, we will carry out this action on him. There is no room for mediation or negotiation on this.
“X was in the past issued with warnings which he chose to ignore. He has nobody to blame but himself. ONH will no longer allow the people of Ballymurphy to be held to ransom by a gang of touts, criminals and ne’er-do-wells.”
ONH added: “This is just the first stage in the dismantling of this Ballymurphy gang.”