October 23rd, 2014

Anti-drug vigilante has dissident price on his head

Northern IrelandBy Sunday World
Roy McAuley
Roy McAuley

Bogus anti-drug vigilante Roy McAuley is on a dissident republican death list.

Last month the Sunday World unmasked murder suspect McAuley as the leader of a criminal gang stalking the streets of north Belfast.

The self-styled vigilante group Action Against Drugs (AAD) was exposed as a sham.

In reality it is a grubby money making operation scamming thousands of pounds from drug dealers.

Under pain of death dealers are forced to hand over a slice of their profits –in return they are allowed to continue trading.

The group first surfaced in the New Lodge area of the city when they staged a dramatic show of strength in which McAuley was pictured in a boiler suit and balaclava brandishing a handgun. 

The gang is believed to be made up of disgruntled dissident republicans and now McAuley is spreading his ‘operation’ to west Belfast. 

The Sunday World understands a close associate has been placed in charge of the group in the New Lodge while he actively recruits in the west.

He is specifically targeting members of terror group Oglaigh na hEireann. The dissident group has responded by issuing a death threat.

He has already recruited one time leading OnH figure Tony Rooney, who defected to AAD after his release from prison for his part in a punishment attack because he was disillusioned with the direction taken by OnH chief Carl Reilly.

McAuley himself is a murder suspect, arrested an questioned in relation to the murder of low level drugs dealer Danny McKay in Newtownabbey 18 months ago.

His activities have also brought him into conflict with the INLA who retaliated to a pipe bomb attack on one of their members by abducting a senior AAD figure and holding him for a number of days.

“McAuley is a dead man walking,” said our source. “He has gone out of his way to target OnH members and he has ruffled feathers.”

He said AAD is now being labelled the ‘modern day IPLO’ a republican splinter group formed in 1986 by disaffected members of the INLA.

The organisation became mired in criminality and drug dealing and is blamed for first introducing Ecstasy to republican districts. Members were also accused of the prolonged gang rape of a woman in Divis Flats in 1990.

A brutal internal war erupted when the IPLO split into two rival factions led by Belfast men Sammy Ward and Jimmy Brown murdered in the feud.

The IRA forced the IPLO into disbandment in 1992 when they launched a “night of the long knives” 

purge in which Ward was murdered. The OnH has now vowed to deliver a similar fate to AAD.

A number of known criminals have signed up to McAuley’s mob in west Belfast but tensions are rising sharply.

“There will be blood spilled over this, OnH may be depleted but if they want to preserve what little credibility they still have they will have to move against McAuley.

 

“The alternative is that McAuley will eventually control the drugs trade in parts of north and west Belfast. Like the IPLO back in the day, his organisation has no republican credentials, they are just criminals.

 

“Their only interest is money.”

He said the only drug dealers forced out of business will be those who refuse to pay up.

Republican sources have told us the OnH now regard McAuley as the biggest threat to them, they have already lost members to AAD and they have been left severely depleted with disgruntled members turning their backs on the organisation because of ineffective leadership.

The Sunday World understands AAD is already compiling a dossier of the most prolific dealers in the west.

“They will be targeted, it's all about easy money.”

Sources have said the writing may already be on the wall for OnH.

“They are so weak it is unlikely they have the men with the expertise to take McAuley on, he holds all the aces and has already recruited some seriously heavy hitters.”

McAuley claimed his group was dedicated to eradicating the drug problem in north Belfast. In truth his only intention was to control the dealers and has already set up a lucrative network of people involved in the trade who supply him with information on rival dealers.

He has surrounded himself with crooks with a long history of dealing in counterfeit goods, and robbery.

“All these groups (AAD, OnH, INLA) are competing with each other and will go to any lengths to stay one step ahead of the competition. It's all about making money and nothing to do with any republican ethos.”