The group entered and threatened a meeting at Dungiven GAC in Derry. Google Maps

GAA club 'extremely angry and shocked' after masked men threaten underage presentation meeting

Detectives believe the same group entered four separate pubs on Friday evening.

POLICE IN DERRY have arrested a 58-year-old man after a group, claiming to represent the IRA, entered and threatened four pubs and a meeting of a GAA club on Friday evening.

Detectives from the Terrorism Investigation Unit of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are appealing for information after a number of masked and armed men reportedly entered the club in Dungiven, Co Derry.

The incidents took place between 7.15pm and 7.20pm. Detective Inspector Wilson of the PSNI, in a statement this morning, said reports of similar incidents in four separate pubs were also received on Friday.

Police understand the pubs were “heavily populated” at the time of the incidents, Wilson said this morning, and detectives are keen to speak with anyone who was inside the bars when the group arrived.

Yesterday, police in Derry arrested a 58-year-old man as part of an ongoing investigation connected with the incidents. The man was arrested under the terrorism act and remains in custody at this time, a PSNI statement said.

Wilson said: “Anyone who can help with ongoing enquiries is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1421 19/01/24.”

In a thread of posts on social media this morning, Dungiven GAC — the club where the men arrived — said it was “extremely angry and shocked at masked men entering our premises and issuing threats against our community”.

The club said the group entered the building while over 100 children and parents were also inside, attending an underage presentation meeting. The post said this fact makes the incident “even more despicable”.

The statement said: “Our club stands united against any form of drug taking or criminality in our community. The fact that these men entered our premises implies that this type of activity takes place here or that we have an issue in or on the premises.

“We as a club executive would like to state categorically that we would not tolerate such activities, and to our knowledge, no such activities take place in or on our premises,” it added.

Dungiven GAC also highlighted that it runs multiple workshops which aim to assist those dealing with addiction issues and are involved with cross-community action projects against criminality.

The statement said: “This type of threat by masked men entering our premises is deplorable and of days gone by. There is no need for this type of behaviour in a society that’s looking to move beyond what happened in our past.”

The club has urged the community to “stand together against all types of criminality”.

Written by Muiris O’Cearbhaill and posted on