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Death threat Orangemen wearing bulletproof vests in their homes

By Staff Reporter

Published 10/07/2015

The two parade marshals wearing their bulletproof vests
The two parade marshals wearing their bulletproof vests

Two north Belfast Orangemen have revealed that they have been forced to wear bulletproof vests in their own homes for protection.

The pair, who are too frightened to reveal their identities, have received police statements warning of death threats.

One of them also received two bullets in the post just yesterday morning.

A spokesman for the men, Rab McKee of the Protestant Coalition, told the Belfast Telegraph that the man pictured here wearing the black T-shirt was an Orange parade marshal in north Belfast who had been receiving death threats for several years.

The resulting stress on his wife and teenage son means that he no longer permanently lives in his home.

"His family is living in constant fear," said Mr McKee. "This man has had more than 25 death threats.

"His wife is suffering from depression - she's terrified that gunmen will come for her husband."

As the man's teenage son has both learning difficulties and a physical disability, the family is worried that he might unwittingly pick up a pipe-bomb or some other deadly missile thrown at the house.

Mr McKee said that despite the volume of threats - including ones to plant bombs under his car - the PSNI could only offer the man the comfort of "an occasional passing patrol car" to help address his security issues. The only other support he had had was the installation of a floodlight outside his family home, Mr McKee explained.

The second man, pictured in the check shirt, had a similar story of fear to tell.

He, too, is a parade marshal in north Belfast and has been advised by the PSNI of threats to his life.

Mr McKee said: "He's had people come up to him in the centre of city and say to him: 'You're a dead man walking'."

The Protestant Coalition spokesman added that the second man's wife also suffered from anxiety, in addition to also battling an eating disorder.

"The Orange marshal had kept many of the death threats to him secret from her so as not to worsen her stress," Mr McKee said.

"These death threats are part of a campaign to increase tension in interface areas in the run-up to the Twelfth.

"I call on whoever in the nationalist/republican community that issued these threats to withdraw them.

"We just want to celebrate our culture - what's wrong with that?"

A PSNI spokesman said: "We do not comment on threats. Where we are made aware of an issue, appropriate steps are taken to advise the individual regarding their personal security."

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