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‘We will put drug dealers down a hole’

By Staff Reporter

THE republican paramilitary group the Irish Volunteers have told the Andersonstown News they are “re-strengthening and rearming” and will assassinate drug dealers in West Belfast.

In an exclusive interview, the group said they have an “active anti-drugs unit” that is planning to put major dealers “down a hole”. The claim came just days after the death of Gerard Mulholland (42), who died after allegedly taking lethal ecstasy pills at a Twinbrook party.

A spokesman for the group said they have already tried to kill one dealer in West Belfast and that they have no qualms about removing dealers from the streets, according to the wishes, they say, of the local community.

He also refuted claims that the IV is involved in extorting money from families of those caught up in drugs, saying a drug addict is using the name of various armed groups to intimidate people into paying out. While the IV group has only sprung to prominence in recent months, the spokesman said  it was established over a decade ago with the goal of securing a “32 county socialist republic”.

The spokesman told us  they are determined to remove the scourge of drugs. He said young, small-time dealers would be helped, but for the major drug dealers kneecapping is  not enough.

“We got together in 2002 and re-emerged two years ago after a period of finding out who is genuine and who isn’t,” he said. “For the past two years we have been rearming and re-strengthening and are preparing to deal with those involved in drugs.

“The Irish Volunteers have already shown they mean business by trying to kill a dealer earlier this year. He is now gone, he’s out of the country.”

The spokesman said there will be no hiding place for drug dealers – and kneecapping is not an option.

“All main dealers will be executed,” he said. “Any young ones involved in drugs will be helped but there is no sympathy for the big dealers, none at all. They will be going into a hole, kneecapping doesn’t stop them, a bullet in the knee does not work.”

The man also addressed claims that the group are involved in extortion, as recently reported in this newspaper.

“We have held an investigation into stories of extortion by people claiming to be from the Irish Volunteers,” he said. “Nobody knows who this person is but he is not with us. We have been talking to other groups like óglaigh na héireann who have also had the same problems with this guy, he is using names of groups but isn’t attached to any of them.

“If anyone has been extorted by anyone claiming to be from the Irish Volunteers, we want to know because we are not involved. People should contact an intermediary who will let us know and we will deal with it.”

While they plan to crack down on drug dealers, the spokesman said the Irish Volunteers will also, like other republican paramilitary groups, be targeting British security forces.

“We have a good relationship with óglaigh na héireann and the IRA but we have our own plan and remain totally independent,” he said. “We will be launching our own military attacks against the police and British infrastructure here and those will take place at a time of our choosing.”

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