Police are investigating online video clips regarding the Banbridge travelling community in which death threats are apparently being issued by a masked man brandishing a shotgun.
There has been tensions relating to members of the community in Banbridge going back several months, with a major police operation in June making five arrests and seizing a range of offensive weapons.
A spate of Youtube videos have been posted since early summer in which men issued threats against each other.
In two clips on September 10 entitled ‘Banbridge crew reply to...’ two separate men in balaclavas speak.
The first says: “We were two nights outside your apartment waiting for you... you went down and broke windows... women and children in the house....through [sic] bricks up at them...
“I am firing these... at your apartment... three storeys up and you will know what you are after making us do... you brought the bad side out of us and we are going to f***** show you. Good luck to you, you dirt.”
A follow-up video apparently posted shortly afterwards has a second man in a balaclava waving a shotgun at the same scene.
He says: “Lads I told you from day one there isn’t a thing ye are going to do that I am not going to retaliate. You are getting going with nothing... you said that we are nobodies...
“Now its like this boys. You said our mothers would be crying. We’ll see whose mothers will be crying at the end of it. Because [name deleted] I told you that I will leave you praying over headstones and by the time we are finished with you lads, we will have holes left in your chest.”
In a third video posted three days later a man speaks to the camera and says he is putting “€3000 kicking money” down for the “Banbridge crew” for a fight involving himself and his two brothers against their opponents on the last Sunday in October.
The News Letter asked the PSNI if it was aware of the clips.
Inspector Leslie Badger replied: “Police are aware of posts on social media outlets, the contents of which are currently being looked at.”
At the end of June police attended a large scale disturbance in the Limewood Court area.
It involved three response sections and their sergeants, crews from Banbridge, Lurgan, Armagh and Newry, two inspectors, parts of two TSG units, Air Support, the Armed Response Unit, the volume crime support team, custody sergeants and custody officers.
The result was “a lot of weapons off the street”.
UUP councillor Glenn Barr said the first threatening video was posted in May or June.
“There was a lot of fighting [In June] with knives and a machete or sword and a lot of arrests. The PSNI had to call for support from the Tactical Support Group.”
Speaking of the threats now being issued with a shotgun, he said: “If anyone was making threat like this to me I would be taking it very seriously. I hope that police will be taking action.
“This is worrying from a community perspective. It is the first time firearms have been involved. I was not aware of this.”