Saturday, 1 September 2007

ULSTER: Vigilante yobs back in Ulster

Vigilante yobs back in Ulster

An alleged drug dealer is tarred and feathered in an ugly return to street justice.

In scenes reminiscent of the IRA's punishment beatings, the man, in his 30s, was tied to a lamp-post in front of passers-by in Belfast.

Masked vigilantes poured tar over him, covered him in feathers and hung a placard round his neck saying: "I'm a drug-dealing scumbag." It is claimed the beating was sparked after police refused to take action against him.

The vigilantes struck on the Taughmonagh estate in south Belfast where the Ulster Defence Association has a strong influence. But the loyalist paramilitary outfit denied involvement.

Frankie Gallagher, of the Ulster Political Research Group, said: "The UDA told them to go to the police. The community responded in this way because it had no confidence in the police."

Police went to the scene but could not find the victim. The attack came amid growing calls for the UDA to abandon violence.

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