Northern Ireland news

Loyalists threaten Sunday Life and Sunday World journalists

Police visited a number of reporters yesterday to inform them of the threats made against them

JOURNALISTS working for the Sunday Life and Sunday World newspapers have received threats from loyalist paramilitaries.

Police visited a number of reporters to inform them of the threats made against them.

One journalist was told of a planned under-car booby trap attack, while the other reporters were warned they are at risk of immediate attack.

It is understood the threats are from the South East Antrim UDA - a breakaway UDA group.

The loyalist terror gang continues to be involved in criminality and has been linked to several murders in recent years, including the killing of Glenn Quinn, in Carrickfergus in January.

It is understood the threat is linked to the papers' coverage of the murders and paramilitary activities.

Police have confirmed they are in receipt of information that indicates a planned and co-ordinated campaign of intimidation.

The two Sunday newspapers are both owned by Independent News and Media (INM).

Peter Vandermeersch, publisher at INM, said: "We will, of course, work with the police to ensure our staff’s safety.

"Threats against journalists should not be tolerated in any free society.

"Today marks the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany and an important element in that victory was ensuring freedom of speech for subsequent generations.

"It is depressing that thugs still believe they can silence the press through intimidation.

"The Sunday World and Sunday Life will continue to publish stories that shed light in dark corners."

Seamus Dooley from the NUJ said it was "an extremely worrying development and will be viewed with great concern by all journalists in Northern Ireland".

"Free press is a corner stone of democracy and it is essential that journalists are allowed to work without fear or intimidation," he said.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news