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Traveller family ordered out of home by dissidents

A family who narrowly escaped death after a pipe bomb attack on their Co Tyrone home have been ordered to leave the area by dissident republicans.

Rose McDonagh and her three children escaped unhurt when the device exploded outside their home in Coalisland on Thursday night.

The Real IRA said its Tyrone brigade carried out the attack, and has now warned the family they have 48 hours to leave their Gortgonis Terrace home.

The McDonaghs, who are members of the Travelling community, said they don’t know why they have been targeted.

Sinn Fein MLA Francie Molloy called for the terror threat to be withdrawn, and said it has left five families in the area living in fear.

The sinister online statement from the Real IRA said the bomb attack on the McDonaghs’ home was “a warning” to families “that anti-social behaviour will no longer be tolerated”.

It read: “The IRA would like to state that this is not an attack on the Travelling community, but an attack on anti-social elements within it.

“We demand the families involved vacate the area within 48 hours or further action will be taken against them.”

Mrs McDonagh rejected allegations that her family have been involved in any criminal or |anti-social behaviour, and said she was living in fear.

“I have been living here for 13 years, and I never bother with anybody,” she told UTV.

“We never bother with anybody, and nobody bothers with us. The people here are very nice.

“I want to stay in my home because we didn't do anything to anybody.”

Mr Molloy called for the threat to be lifted and said there was no justification for any violence.

“If these people have issues the way to deal with them is through discussion and not by driving families out of the area,” he said.

“There are five Travelling families in that Gortgonis area and they are all living in fear after the pipe bomb and now this threat.

“I am calling for these people to withdraw their threat — I am willing to sit down and talk to any of them — because this is certainly not the way to deal with things.”

A PSNI spokesman said: “We do not discuss the security of individuals.”

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