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Uncle of Cahill tells of Provo bullet threat

By Suzanne Breen

Published 16/06/2016

Threat help: Fr Gary Donegan
Threat help: Fr Gary Donegan

An uncle of sexual abuse victim Mairia Cahill has said he is under a death threat from the Provisional IRA.

West Belfast man Sean Cahill claimed that a senior member of the paramilitary organisation visited his home last week.

Mr Cahill last night told the Belfast Telegraph: "This man told me, in front of my wife, children and grandchildren, that I would get a bullet in the head.

"Understandably, my family are very upset and are concerned about my safety."

The IRA man who made the threat was a key player in the 2004 Northern Bank robbery and is a brother-in-law of a prominent Sinn Fein figure.

A career criminal, he became involved with the Provisionals in the early 1990s. He now works for the IRA's finance department and was, in the past, regularly seen in the company of veteran Provisional Bobby Storey.

Mr Cahill, a 52-year-old electrician, also claimed that he had been informed that Sinn Fein members were telling employers that he should not be given work because he was a dissident republican.

He said that he outlined "attempts to destroy my livelihood" on social media last Wednesday and, later that day, was visited by the senior Provisional.

"He threatened my life in front of everybody who was in the house," Mr Cahill added. "My wife was very distressed. I'm obviously concerned and want the threat lifted.

"I don't hold Sinn Fein accountable for what has happened, but I would like them to speak out against it. I'm a republican, I've always been a republican and I have campaigned on behalf of the prisoners in Maghaberry. I have never been arrested by the PSNI, nor have I any convictions."

Mr Cahill said that the day following the death threat, he visited Holy Cross chapel in Ardoyne and asked to speak to Fr Gary Donegan, who has also been threatened by republicans.

"I wanted Fr Donegan to help establish the legitimacy of the threat - whether it was someone on a solo run or if this individual had the authority of his organisation behind him," Mr Cahill said. "I was told by reception at Holy Cross that Fr Donegan wasn't in, so I left my name and contact details. Almost a week later, he still hasn't been in touch with me. I'm very disappointed by that.

Fr Donegan last night told this newspaper he had been away on Thursday and that Mr Cahill's details had not been passed on to him.

"I have no difficulty in meeting Sean Cahill and speaking to him," the priest said. "He can come to Holy Cross or I can go to his home. In recent weeks, I have dealt with 42 threats to individuals from paramilitaries. This will now make it 43."

Fr Donegan recently highlighted threats made to dozens of men in north Belfast by dissident republicans.

Afterwards, he said that police had warned him of a number of threats posted on social media against him and other community activists.

But Fr Donegan indicated that it was irrelevant to him whether a threat came from mainstream or dissident republicans. "I will help the person under threat regardless of who they are in danger from," he explained.

Belfast Telegraph

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