Calls for tighter border security have been made amid rising fears of spillover violence following last Thursday’s brutal murder of a man in Buncrana.
The 25-year-old father of two, Andrew Allen was killed at his home in Links View Park, Lisfannon, just outside the town.
He had been living there since being ordered to leave his native Derry by the vigilante group, Republican Action Against Drugs, (RAAD), six months ago.
It is understood that up to three men were involved in the attack.
According to anti-drugs campaigner, Letterkenny man, PJ Blake the bloody drug war between former paramilitaries and the pushers shows no sign of relenting.
“We need tighter security on our border crossing points. Indeed I would go so far as to say we need armed checkpoints to return. People that want to be engaged in illegal activities along the border are going to do it and they are laughing at the authorities efforts to stop them. Garda resources are at an all time low up here and we’re paying the price. Not only are the gardaí in the firing line, the public are in danger too.”
Donegal North-East TD, Joe McHugh said he wouldn’t be in favour of checkpoints returning but added this incident highlighted the need for the distribution of garda resources to take into account the unique relationship between Derry City and north Donegal, particularly towns including Buncrana and Muff that are in close proximity to Derry.
“Analysis of garda resources in north Donegal compared with garda resources in towns and villages in west Cork, shows that the distribution of An Garda Síochána resources in Border regions does not take into account demographic factors on the other side of the Border. The reality is that movement of people between Derry City and north Donegal is as free as movement of people between Cork City and West Cork. I have previously raised this issue with the Garda Commissioner,” he said.
He added he had been in contact with the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter to liaise with the Garda Commissioner and with Minister for Justice at Stormont, David Ford MLA.
“If resources are needed for special border operations they should be given but checkpoints would send out the wrong message,” he said.
Sinn Féin Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said said the local community was shocked.
“The community in Buncrana is shocked and horrified that a man has been shot in our town. Our thoughts are with the victim’s family at this extremely difficult time.”
For more see Donegal On Sunday.