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The ghouls in RAAD are still at it
Some people may tell you that the violence in the North is over. But Republican Action Against Drugs are continuing their vicious campaign...
Eamonn McCann, 24 May 2012
Ray Coyle has been told he’s been sentenced to death by Republican Action Against Drugs. He takes the warning seriously, as he should. The last person RAAD told to fear for his life, Andy Allen, was blasted to death at his home two weeks later, on February 9.
Contrary to RAAD’s allegations, Andy wasn’t anything resembling a “drugs baron”. But he’d been doing a bit of blow, and that can be deemed beyond the beyond when RAAD feels a killing coming on.
The day after the funeral, I chaired a protest rally near the Allen family home at the top of the Hill. About 30 young people, wearing “Andy RIP” T-shirts, arranged themselves in front in semi-circular formation. Ray stood immediately behind, waving a placard aloft – “Reject Action Against Democracy.”
In February last year, Ray had himself been shot by RAAD, three times in the leg and thigh in his shop in Waterloo St. where he sold subversive garments, collectors-item comics, legal highs and knick-knacks of one sort and another. Something of an anarchist and forthright to a degree, he’d made no secret that, “I sell stuff as legal as alcohol but not as dangerous.”
The hysteria over “highs” which swept the land last year combined in the North with a toxic paramilitary “policing” tradition to provide RAAD with a plausible raison-d’etré. Thus do zero-tolerance law ’n’ order attitudes to drugs feed the ghouls’ addiction to death.
The fact that Ray returned to the fray as soon as he’d recovered was regarded by RAAD as intolerable. “He shows no respect.” All outfits which set themselves up as protectors of the community crave respect. Some of the most pitiless Provo attacks over the course of the conflict were prompted not by allegations of the victim having compromised the Struggle but of behaviour which belittled the ‘Ra in the eyes of the people, such as besting a ranking Volunteer in a fight.
Back in July 1998, Andrew Kearney beat up a prominent north Belfast Provo, fair and square. A fortnight later, a seven-strong IRA gang battered its way into his eighth-floor flat in a New Lodge tower-block and trussed him up and dragged him out before shooting him three times. They ripped the phone out and jammed the lift on the ground floor before fleeing the scene. None of the neighbours, understandably terrified, opened their door. Andrew bled to death on the balcony as his two-year-old son howled in horror and his girlfriend tumbled distraught down the stairs screaming for help. Every member of the Provisional hierarchy, including those who, exceedingly pleased with themselves, now regularly parade on the news for our applause, either openly approved or silently endorsed this action by the ‘Ra to uphold its standing.