Belfast Telegraph

New book shows the pain of Northern Ireland drug crisis

By Brendan McDaid

A Londonderry author is preparing to lift the lid on the impact of violence by anti-drug vigilantes in Northern Ireland.

John Lindsay’s pioneering research for the book included interviewing ex-drug suppliers and dealers and several former republican and loyalist paramilitaries.

Entitled No Dope Here? Anti-Drug Vigilantism In Northern Ireland, the book features the testimonies of numerous victims of paramilitary shootings and beatings from throughout the Troubles to the present time.

The families of those exiled by groups including the deadly Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) in Derry and elsewhere also speak of their experiences.

The new book will be launched at The Junction in Londonderry on Thursday, November 29.

Mr Lindsay said: “There are libraries about specific incidents during the Troubles, on sectarianism, and punishment attack victims seem to be at the bottom of the pile because it doesn’t impact on relationships between the two communities or the relationship between Britain and Ireland.”

The new book was being compiled in the midst of a spate of punishment attacks mostly concentrated in the north west over a period of three years.

Mr Lindsay said: “There were around 50 attacks and they were happening while I was researching. It was an unfolding story. There did seem to be an unprecedented number of shootings and attacks in quite a small area.”

The book examines the impact of attacks by paramilitaries of those they judge to have wronged their communities.

It examines the rationale of, and levels of support for, paramilitary ‘punishment' attacks and the physical, emotional and psychological impacts on victims.

A yoga teacher and father of four, North Wales-born Mr Lindsay moved to Northern Ireland in 1984.

He is also the author of Brits Speak Out — British Soldiers' Impressions Of The Northern Ireland Conflict.

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