McCartney calls for dissidents to 'leave the stage'
Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney has called for death threats against two teenagers in Londonderry to be lifted.
The threat was issued by two armed and masked men who called to the home of one of the teenagers on Tuesday night.
It is thought the threats followed a row over a bonfire. The two 19-year-olds fled from the city on Wednesday.
Mr McCartney said: "Armed vigilantes once again are trying to impose fear and intimidation into the Creggan community."
The threat is said to have come from a new group of dissident republicans in the north west, but Raymond McCartney has rejected their claim to represent the nationalist/republican community.
He said: "What we are seeing here is a re-packaging and a rebranding of armed groups.
"We have said there is no need for their presence in our areas and they should disband. If they want to contribute positively to the people of this city, indeed the people of Creggan, the only rational thing they can do is leave the stage."
The mother of one of the men forced to leave the city, who did not want to be identified, said the threat was issued because of a row over bonfire material.Mediation
Speaking to the BBC she said: "On Tuesday night there was a bang on the door at twenty past eleven and I went out and answered the door and there were two men standing there with hoods up and scarves around their faces. They said: 'Your son has 24 hours to get out of Derry or he will be shot'."
The woman said she feared for her own safety at the time, describing it as a "terrible ordeal".
"I told them that my son wasn't leaving the town. I knew what it was about, it was over a bonfire," she said."
Community worker Karen Mullan, from the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum, said some mediation had taken place since the threat was issued, but it had not been withdrawn.
"Another community leader went to see the leaders of these dissident groups to see what the reason was for the threat and to see if it could be lifted but was told they had to go. There is no reasoning, no rationale with these people, there's no talking to them," said Ms Mullan.
She added: "The mothers would prefer to speak to the people involved rather than speak through a mediator to get to the basis of this. If there has been any anti-social behaviour the mothers are very clear that they will deal with it."
The police have confirmed that the mothers of both men made them aware of the threats.