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LIVING IN FEAR Mum's fear as dissident thugs target home after son stands up to drug dealer

PSNI delivered notice that Angela's home is under threat

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Angela Whelan and her daughter Theresa outside their west Belfast home this week

Angela Whelan and her daughter Theresa outside their west Belfast home this week

Angela Whelan and her daughter Theresa outside their west Belfast home this week

Cowardly dissident republicans have threatened the life of a 13-year-old girl and her mum - for standing up to one of their drug dealers.

Angela Whelan and her daughter Theresa received a death threat on Thursday morning when police delivered it to their Westrock Park home in west Belfast.

It's the second death threat to come in a fortnight and specifically states she is being targeted for refusing to leave the area following the first death threat.

"I want the threats hanging over me and my teenage daughter to be lifted immediately," says a brave Angela.

"I'm just sitting here now waiting for a bomb or bullets to be fired into my house. I haven't slept in months. I sit up all night watching to protect my daughter."

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The notice from the PSNI

The notice from the PSNI

The notice from the PSNI

In a week when thousands of loyalist and republican terrorists were gifted an amnesty for their crimes, a gang of thugs - believed to be connected to the INLA - are continuing to blight their community with threats of murder and mayhem.

Local SDLP representative Paul Doherty told the Sunday World he had been trying to help Angela and he "totally condemned" the threats.

"This is a time when we are working towards putting the dark days of the troubles behind us and there's no need for any repeat in these communities," he told us.

"I have been out to offer support to the family and the thing that strikes me if the fact there's a 13-year-old girl who is having to live through this nightmare. It must be so traumatic for her and it's wrong."

Angela grew up in the Westrock area off the Whiterock Road, not far from Ballymurphy and lives alone with her daughter, a student at St Louise's College.

It's a staunchly republican area blighted by the Troubles.

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Angela says her family's 'crime' was to tell a local drug dealer to sling his hook.

"This all started in October last year when a local drug dealer was seen selling heroin and tablets to a girl in a car near our house," she says.

"My son is 29 and was visiting my house and he told the dealer to clear off and sell somewhere else. The dealer gave my son the middle finger and that's all that happened.

"I couldn't care what the dealer does - he can run around the street naked for all I care but I'm not having anyone sell drugs near my daughter.

"The relative of the dealer then turned up and started shouting their mouth off. We explained what he was up to but it made no difference.

"Since then things have spiralled out of control. A week later they turned up and paint-bombed the back window of the house which is Theresa's bedroom.

"Two weeks later they came back and threw diesel at the same window. Relatives constantly abused Theresa on the street. They told her if we didn't stop they'd come and get us."

Angela says she's convinced the threats are coming from the INLA.

"My son chased three masked men from the house and watched them get into a taxi to get away.

"In June they threw a petrol bomb at the house. They smashed windows at the front which have only just been fixed and they used a hammer to smash the front door.

"My son doesn't live here. I'm living here alone with my daughter and she shouldn't have to suffer this type of thing. What brave men target a teenage girl and a single mum?

"I know it's the INLA who are behind it."

On July 1 the police delivered the first threat which mentioned both Angela and her daughter and warned they must leave the area.

Then on Thursday at 6am the police knocked on the door to deliver a second threat.

It stated: "Police are in receipt of information that criminal elements behind a recent threat to Angela Whelan may believe that she is refusing to leave her home address. As a result, some form of attack may be imminent."

Angela says she doesn't want to leave the area.

"This is my home and it's all I know. The Housing Executive were on the phone wanting me to move but I told them I don't want to go.

"Why should I have to leave my house for standing up to a dirty drug dealer? It's 2021 and people are still pretending to be tough men and using threats. It's disgusting.

"I just want the threats to be lifted and for me to be allowed to raise my daughter in peace. Is that to much to ask?"

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