THE brother of a man murdered by dissident republicans earlier this year has returned to Londonderry after a threat against him was lifted.
However another man who was forced to flee with him is still in hiding as the threat against him remains in place.
Daniel Allen, whose brother Andrew was shot dead by Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) in February, was ordered out of the city last month along with another man.
His mother Donna Smith said he had now returned home, adding: “I was thinking am I going to have to go through the same thing again with Daniel?
“The whole family are just emotional wrecks at the minute.
“To get him home is just fantastic.”
Daniel himself said very little, other than that he was glad to get back to his family, but a statement issued through Rosemount Resource Centre said Mr Allen wished to make it clear “that, as a family, they have and will remain angry and grief stricken at the death of Andy and that they will continue to seek justice for him”.
Andrew Allen, 24, from the Waterside area of the city, was shot at a house in Links View Park, Lisfannon, Buncrana, County Donegal.
The father-of two’s murder was subsequently claimed by Republican Action Against Drugs though the family has insisted he was never under threat from that organisation and that they will continue to campaign for justice, and to bring the full truth behind the murder to light. RAAD later merged with the Real IRA and other small unaligned groups to form a new group calling itself the ‘IRA’.
In the statement issued by Rosemount Resource Centre today, it was confirmed that the threat against Daniel Allen had been lifted after a series of meetings with mediators.
The statement referred to a project called Time2Choose, whose main role was to have threats against people lifted, while at the same time helping people who had been threatened to change their behaviour and lifestyle. But it suggested that in this case, the issue was commected to “community disputes”.
It said: “Time2Choose, an early intervention project developed by Rosemount Resource Centre in partnership with other community activists was formed as a result of the increasing threat to individuals from various paramilitary groups in response to alleged criminal activities.
“Our main role involves attempting to have any threats lifted whilst at the same time providing support, counselling and training to those who have been threatened, in an effort to alter their behaviour and lifestyles which in turn alleviates the suffering caused by anti social behaviour in our community.
“Because of the work we have been engaged in we are often approached to mediate in community disputes of all kinds and it is to this that we wish to refer.
“In recent months, following the killing of Andy Allen the Top of The Hill area of the city has seen an unprecedented rise in community tensions, with graffiti, intimidation, threats and expulsions making a once proud and united community turn in on itself through fear and anger.
“This situation culminated in two men, one being Andy Allen’s brother, leaving the city for fear of attack from an armed group.
“A series of media articles, accusations and counter accusations, inter-community disputes and debates followed but as with previous public demonstrations and condemnations unfortunately none of this managed to resolve the issue.”
It said the project had been approached by members of the Allen family to see if a resolution could be found and that a series of meetings had led to an accommodation “which satisfied all those affected by the issue.”
As well as Daniel Allen’s comments about the family’s right to be angry at Andy’s murder and to seek justice for him, the statement said the family did not condone Andy’s name being used as a cover for other people’s “selfish ends” and called on all people who support the campaign for justice to respect the family’s wish to pursue this aim in a dignified manner.
Speaking on Radio Foyle today, community worker Hugh Brady said he was hopeful a resolution would also be found to let the other threatened man return home.