Bomb hero taxi driver receives death threat
The hero taxi driver who risked his own life to move a viable pipe-bomb away from a residential area in Strabane last week has had his life threatened by an “unknown criminal element”.
Andy Gallagher made the headlines last weekend when he bravely removed a pipe-bomb from a car in the Ballycolman Estate to a more remote part of Strabane because he said he knew a nearby medical centre would be closed while the device was examined.
The man, who owned the car where the pipe-bomb was found last week, Matt McDermott, was also issued with a death threat, believed to be from the shadowy dissident group Republican Action Against Drugs (RADD).
This organisation also claimed responsibility for the attack on Mr McDermott last week and he has since left Strabane.
Mr Gallagher said he was bewildered as to why he was targeted.
He said that although police do not know exactly who is behind the threat, they advised Mr Gallagher to take it seriously.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, he said: “The police rang me and said they had received an anonymous call from an unknown criminal element and that they ‘intended to take some action' against me.
“I have no idea who is behind it, it could be absolutely anybody but I have to take it seriously at the same time and that seems to be the line the police are following too.
“Even random nutters can do serious damage, so I will pay attention to it.”
The threat against Mr McDermott coupled with the pipe-bomb attack led to his decision to leave Strabane, however Mr Gallagher said he fully intended to stay in the town.
He criticised those behind the threats, adding: “These are random threats that target not just the person they are aimed at, but also their entire families.
“We are back to the days of kangaroo courts and it’s about time the political representatives did something concrete to back up their words of condemnation.
“People who make these threats and leave pipe-bombs in places where even young children could pick them up don't give a second thought about the damage they could do.
“They think they are on some kind of mission and that's all they are interested in.”