'Provos abduct dissident republican'

The IRA has abducted a dissident republican and warned his terrified girlfriend not to alert the police, it was claimed tonight.

The IRA has abducted a dissident republican and warned his terrified girlfriend not to alert the police, it was claimed tonight.

Stephen Moore was taken from a house in south Belfast after refusing to attend a Provo interrogation about a murder in the city, it is alleged.

Marian Price, a former IRA prisoner now opposed to the Sinn Féin leadership of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, said Mr Moore was warned he would vanish if he did not cooperate.

She claimed tonight: “He’s probably tied to a chair somewhere being tortured.

“That’s what has happened in the past to people who have been lifted by the Provisionals.”

Mr Moore, a west Belfast man in his mid 30s, is understood to be a member of the Real IRA-affiliated 32 County Sovereignty Movement.

Mainstream republicans have stepped up a harassment campaign against him ever since father of six Danny McGurk was murdered in August, according to Mrs Price.

Real IRA gunmen shot Mr McGurk dead at his home in the Lower Falls area of west Belfast following a dispute with top members of the renegade organisation.

Even though Mr McGurk was not connected to the Provos, security sources feared the killing could plunge the rival republican factions into a bloody feud.

Mrs Price claimed IRA men came to his house last week and issued a chilling warning that he faced the same fate as Gareth O’Connor.

The Armagh man has been missing for months amid intense speculation that the Provisionals kidnapped him.

“Members of the Provisionals told Stephen he had to hand himself in to them to be cleared by them,” Mrs Price alleged.

“He refused, but the men told him if he didn’t they would do a Gareth O’Connor on him.”

After his partner suffered a miscarriage, Mr Moore moved across the city to stay at her house in the Lower Ormeau area.

They were visiting her aunt’s house when a carload of men pulled up at around 12.30am today and ordered him to get in, it was claimed.

“A woman went to see the girlfriend later and told her if the press or police were notified there would be serious repercussions,” said Mrs Price.

“But Stephen’s wider family believe the only way to get him back unharmed is to go public.

“They are republicans so I don’t think the police would be informed.”

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said there had been no reports of an abduction.

A Sinn Féin spokesman said if anyone had been taken all efforts should be made to help his relatives.

He said: “If somebody has been abducted or is missing it would be our hope that he will return safely to his family. If anyone can assist his family then they should do so.”

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