Northern Ireland news

Anti-goldmine campaigners receive death threats

Anti- goldmine campaigner Cormac McAleer is one of three men who has been warned by police he is under death threat
Connla Young

Three anti-goldmine campaigners have been warned to increase their personal security after a threat was made against their lives.

It is understood the message was delivered by police to the men in the Greencastle area of Co Tyrone on Monday.

It is claimed that PSNI officers told the men the threat arose from an altercation which took place in the district on Sunday.

Prominent anti-mine campaigner Cormac McAleer received one of the death threats.

He said he was confronted by a man carrying a "nail bar" during the altercation in Greencastle a day earlier.

He has since made a complaint to police about the incident.

Mining firm, Dalradian Gold want to develop a plant to mind gold in the area.

Some local people are opposed to the plan while the firm insists it is safe.

Mr McAleer believes the threat and his anti-mine activism are linked.

He said his is taking some precautions.

"With any of these things it is likely wiser to take it seriously,” he said.

A second man, who is too frightened to be named, also believes the threat is linked to his anti-mine views.

He claimed that his house has previously been attacked with eggs and that since the recent threat was delivered he and his wife have kept a nightly watch at their home.

The man said he was “surprised” when the police arrived at his door at 11pm on Monday.

“It is an absolute disaster,” he said.

“I can't go to work and my stomach is sick.”

He says that police provided him with a booklet on how to improve his personal security and discussed putting up cameras.

Some of the information contained in the book offered advice on how to check for under car booby traps.

A spokesman for Dalradian Gold declined to comment last night.

A spokesman for the PSNI said: “We do not discuss the security of individuals and no inference should be drawn from this.”

“However, if we receive information that a person's life may be at risk, we will inform them accordingly. We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk.”

A police spokeswoman later said they are investigating reports of two separate assaults in the Maryville area of Greencastle on Sunday.

She said the first report was made at around 9.45pm on Sunday and alleged that a man in his 20s had sustained minor injuries after being assaulted by a group of men.

A second report made on Wednesday alleged that a man in his 60s had been assaulted in the Maryville area between 7pm-8pm on Sunday and received a minor injury to his arm.

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