Sinn Féin condemns vigilante drug march

SINN FÉIN has condemned a vigilante-style march on Cork’s northside in which a coffin was reportedly thrown into the garden of a house.

The sinister incident in the Ballinderry area of Mayfield on Thursday night comes ahead of a major public meeting on Monday about alleged drug dealing in the area.

A group of about 20 flag-waving young men, claiming to represent the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, marched into the Ballinderry estate after 9pm on Thursday.

Some wore scarves over their faces and they threw a coffin into the garden of a house. The incident was over in about 10 minutes.

Outspoken anti-drugs campaigner, Sinn Féin’s Jonathan O’Brien, condemned the incident, which comes after two weeks of controversy about antisocial behaviour and alleged drug-dealing in the area.

“This whole thing [the march] is a distraction. The best thing to do is to ignore these people,” he said.

Mr O’Brien, who marched on the homes of alleged drug dealers more than a decade ago, said the Ballinderry incident was completely different:

“What took place here was not about empowering communities, because the community was not marching with them.

“When we marched a decade ago, we had the support of the community, we did it in daylight, with no one hiding their identity,” the Cork North Central TD said

But he said he understands the frustration of local people and said he was hopeful of a positive outcome following an emergency meeting of the Community Safety Forum for Mayfield, which is due to take place at 7.30pm on Monday in Mayfield Community School.

More in this section