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MP demands end to ‘intimidation campaign’ against South Armagh man

Sinn Féin MP  Conor Murphy has called on those whom he says are waging a campaign of “intimidation, threats and assaults” against a South Armagh man and his family to cease immediately.

Today’s Irish News carries an article about what has been described as an “ongoing campaign of intimidation” on Michael Bellew, from Cullyhanna.

In November last, Mr Bellew was beaten with a baseball bat and shot in both legs in his family home and in front of his wife and daughter.

The farmer has been labelled as a ‘police informer’ by those carrying out the attacks.

Mr Bellew has denied all allegations against him and has appealed to be allowed to live in peace.

In the Irish News article he says he has been left with no choice but to speak out.

Describing Mr Bellew as a respected and upstanding member of the community, local MP Conor Murphy said: “This campaign of violence and intimidation being carried out by criminals masquerading as Republicans is disgraceful and must be condemned by all.

“It must cease immediately.

“People are outraged and most view this threat on a well-respected and upstanding member of the community and his family as an attack on the entire community.

“These criminal gangs need to leave the stage and people allowed to build a future for themselves and their families free from threat.

Mr Murphy confirmed that Sinn Féin would be meeting with the PSNI – which he says are aware of the issue – to discuss the matter.

“The PSNI need to deal with this immediately and we will be meeting with them to impress that on them,” the MP added.

“People need to be able to get on with their lives without the shadow of these gangs hanging over them, who are besmirching the honourable title of Republican.”

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