herald

Thursday 24 July 2014

Republican fears 'I'm next' on hitlist after pal was shot

A CLOSE pal of a Republican who was almost murdered in a reckless gun attack fears that he's next on the hit list.

James McDonagh (36), who formed the recently disbanded Irish Republican Voice (IRV) movement, was speaking after Darren Whelan (26) was shot in the back outside his Ballyfermot home last week.

Mr McDonagh has been officially warned by gardai that there is an active threat against his life, while Mr Whelan received no such notification.

"Yeah, gardai from the Special Detective Unit called to my home and gave me an official warning," he told the Herald:

"They served the papers on me but they didn't say where the threat is coming from. Am I worried? Of course I am – what's going on here is very serious and I don't have much faith in the gardai to be honest.

"There definitely seems to be an onslaught against Republicans – we don't know where this is coming from but a lot of people are worried especially after Darren was shot.

"I don't know why he was shot but everyone is shocked over this. Darren is 100pc a genuine lad and he is a true Republican.

"But we want to know why this is happening – why are we being targeted? We are not extortionists, we are Republicans."

Rathfarnham man Mr McDonagh explained that he had visited his pal at St James' Hospital in the aftermath of last week's gun attack but that he was too ill to see him.

OPERATION

It is understood that he had to have some of his lung removed in an operation after he was shot.

Mr Whelan is expected to make a good recovery after the botched hit that took place on Wednesday, April 2, but Mr McDonagh fears further violence.

"I was a friend of Alan Ryan and I set up the IRV to continue his work but other people were using our name to extort money so that is why I disbanded it," he said.

Mr Whelan has regularly been spotted in the company of former associates of slain Real IRA terror chief Alan Ryan including at fundraising events.

Gardai believe that he was targeted because of who his pals are.

The IRV took part in several protests in Dublin over the past year, including one outside the Dail which led to scuffles with gardai.

The IRV said it disbanded in February following an "unprecedented internal discussion and consultation process with our members in the 32 Counties of Ireland".

KFOY@HERALD.IE

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