A death threat for Christmas
SOLDIERS TARGETED BY CONTINUITY IRA
A CORK native serving in the British Army has revealed gardai contacted him before Christmas in relation to a possible threat to his life from dissident Republicans.
The revelation has come in the same week that dissident republicans issued a chilling threat to Irish people serving in the British forces.
In a statement by the Continuity IRA, read out at the annual Sean South commemoration in Limerick last Sunday, they were warned that they are a ' legitimate target' for the Continuity IRA.
The soldier, who comes from the North Cork area and cannot be named for security reasons, told The Corkman that gardai had contacted him shortly after he arrived back home to spend time with his family over Christmas.
"They wanted a list of British soldiers from the area in order to keep tabs on them if they intended to travel home to their families during the Christmas holidays," said the soldier.
He said that Irish born members of the British army had been made aware of a possible threat on their lives by security services a number of months ago.
This threat was brought sharply into focus last month following the discovery of a plot to kidnap and murder a young British soldier as he celebrated Christmas with his family in Limerick.
It is believed the discovery came about as the result of an intelligencegathering operation over recent months aimed at dissident Republican activity.
The North Cork solider pointed out that he had not been the subject of an individual threat.
"I had been made aware of a potential threat to any British soldier intending to return home on holidays a number of months ago," he said.
He did say that he had taken some precautions such as changing his Facebook page after it emerged that dissident Republicans were plotting the movements of soldiers through their social networking sites.
The soldier told The Corkman that while he did not feel under any particular threat; his family were understandably concerned for his safety.
"To be honest, I did not let it bother me. There was no way that it was going to put me off coming home. At no time have I ever felt uncomfortable when I come back here."
However, his mother said that she did find it difficult to understand why her son's life could come under any kind of threat.
"I accept that my son could be deployed to dangerous places, such as Afghanistan. What you do not expect is for him to be under some kind of a cloud when he comes home to visit his family," she said.
"To be honest I thought that this kind of thing was all in the past."
A garda spokesman told The Corkman that they would treat seriously any potential threat to serving British army personnel visiting Ireland.