Belfast Telegraph

Department withdraws workers from Derry estate after threat

Mark H Durkan
Mark H Durkan
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

A Government department has withdrawn all staff from a housing estate in Londonderry following a threat.

The Department for Infrastructure confirmed services had been withdrawn following "an incident involving a member of staff on Thursday, January 3".

Discussions are ongoing with local representatives to try and resolve the situation, a the department said.

SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan said efforts were being made to find a solution.

"I will work with other community and political representatives to ensure that public servants are not intimidated out of Creggan and that the people of Creggan are not denied public services due to the inexplicable actions of an individual or organisation," he added.

"The days of any one individual or organisation ruling an area with an iron fist are long gone.

"It is unacceptable that this community have to pay for the actions of those who continue to believe they are a law unto themselves.

"My thoughts go out to the staff member who received the threat and his family at this time and I'm sure that 99.9% of the people of Creggan will be glad to see him back in the area doing his job.''

Sinn Fein councillor Kevin Campbell, who lives in the area, said the withdrawal would have an impact on the local community.

He called for any threat to be lifted immediately.

"I would condemn the threat against any workers going about their daily business," he said.

"They provide a vital service for the community and because of this intimidation we have now lost that service.

"The gritting service is vital, the temperatures are dropping and Creggan is built on high ground.

"If the frost comes we get the brunt of it, and with no gritting service it has all the hallmarks of danger for the community.

"There should be no threat of any description against workers and it should be lifted immediately to allow services to continue."

Police declined to be drawn on the incident last night.

The PSNI said that it does not discuss the security of individuals, and no inference should be drawn from this.

However, it said if police "receive information that a person's life may be at risk, we will inform them accordingly".

"We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk," it added.

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