A SHADOWY dissident republican terror gang who ‘executed’ drug dealer Kevin Kearney has now threatened members of his family.
Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said on Tuesday that the so-called ‘New IRA’ s had issued death threats against two of his relatives.
Masked and armed men entered a social club in Ardoyne, north Belfast, in the early hours of Monday and read out names of people it ordered to leave the area.
Mr Kelly said he believed the organisation also murdered Danny McKay in the Whitewell area of north Belfast in October 2012.
“A number of armed and masked men went in, read out a statement that they had been giving out around the district and claimed the murder of Kevin Kearney and then threatened a couple of members of the same family,” the Sinn Féin assembly member said.
“Clearly here is a family which is in the middle of grieving and then has to face more threats from this organisation.”
He said a third person was also threatened and he urged people to come forward to help put the killers behind bars.
“Last year the same organisation, I understand, also shot Danny McKay dead down in the Whitewell area,” Mr Kelly said.
“What we need is information to take these people off the street, they have absolutely no community support. If they thought by going into that bar that they would gain support they have done themselves more damage.”
In a statement, police said: “Police in north Belfast are aware of an incident at licensed premises in the Ardoyne area at around 12.30am on the morning of Monday 14 October when a number of armed men are reported to have entered and issued a statement.
“Enquiries into this incident are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact CID in Tennent Street on 0845 600 8000.”
Belfast Daily revealed on Tuesday that Kevin Kearney was a security force informant who secretly helped bug IRA meetings with Catholic priests.
The 46-year-old was a trusted foot soldier in the IRA who provided safe houses.
But the father-of-four was also working as an RUC Special Branch agent deep inside the IRA in Ardoyne.
One house in Etna Drive in the Ardoyne of north Belfast was regularly used by senior IRA and Sinn Fein figures for meetings with priests from Clonard Monastery in west Belfast.
A security source told Belfast Daily: “What they didn’t know was the house was bugged.
“Kevin was a police agent and a specialist MI5 unit went in and planted a number of listening devices in the house.
“The meetings were held in the house in the 1990s in the run up to the ceasefires.
“The talks were to convince leading hardline IRA members to accept the 1994 ceasefire.
“These meetings went on for months. It gave us a good insight into what was going on within the IRA in Ardoyne.
“They needed to be convinced of the benefits of the ceasefire.”
Kearney, a leading cocaine dealer in north Belfast, was gunned down last Tuesday by a dissident republican terror gang.
The ‘New IRA’ claimed it “executed” him in a gangland style hit following “complaints from the local community”.
It also warned other drug dealers to “desist immediately” or face the same grisly fate.
Murdersquad cops believe he was shot dead around 9.15 am and his body dumped in a lake at Alexandra Park off the Antrim Road in north Belfast.
He was approached while out walking his dogs not far from his home at Dunmore Park.
It is understood he was shot several times after sustaining a severe beating.
The alarm was raised when the dogs arrived home without him.
It wasn’t until the following day that police found his body in the lake after conducting widespread searches of the area.
Kearney was buried at Milltown Cemetery yesterday following a funeral Mass at a Catholic Church on the Limestone Road in north Belfast.
A 39-year-old man arrested last week in connection with his “callous and cold-blooded’ murder has since been released without charge.
A 45-year-old man was arrested on Monday and is being questioned about the murder.