Northern Ireland news

Concerns raised after PSNI failed to deliver suspected loyalist threat to republican

North Belfast republican Dee Fennell
Connla Young

Concerns have been raised after claims the PSNI failed to warn a north Belfast republican and his wife of a suspected loyalist threat.

Dee Fennell, who has left republican political group Saoradh, found out about the threat when the Housing Executive contacted police earlier this year after his house was attacked and he requested a move.

It is understood the threat refers to Mr Fennell and his wife, who is an NHS nurse.

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said that when he approached the PSNI about a potential threat they confirmed they were aware of it “and they said it was a low threat and they don't always tell people if it's low”.

“Regardless of the level people need to be told. If anybody is under threat… the police have a duty to make the person aware regardless of how they grade them," Mr McCusker said.

Mr Fennell last night said: “There has been an ongoing threat to my wife and my children's lives and the PSNI has been fully aware of it for the last six months.”

His solicitor Gavin Booth, of Phoenix Law, claimed police had “failed in their basic duty in Article Two of the European Convention on Human Rights to take reasonable steps to warn Mr Fennell and his family of the serious and imminent threat to his and his family's life."

A PSNI spokeswoman said it does “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."

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