Following a series of malicious incidents against myself and my family, I feel I have to respond to the North Belfast public.The first incident occurred two years ago whilst I was away getting married when my name appeared on walls throughout the area stating that I was a drug dealer. I and my family ignored this and put it down to sheer jealousy.
Shortly afterwards my wife’s car was destroyed with acid, again we chose to ignore it.In January 2008 my home was targeted by drunken gunmen using automatic weapons. This was a step too far. I confronted the people I knew to be guilty of this cowardly act.
Admissions were given to me by the people involved, they also informed me that they were persuaded to kill me by the same people who are continuing this vendetta against me.
Following that incident there were leaflets distributed around mine and my mother’s neighbours. I responded to this deed by doing a leaflet drop of my own, only this leaflet contained the absolute truth. My wife at that stage was six months pregnant, expecting our first son. Tragically our son was stillborn.
One week later as we stood at our son’s graveside trying to come to terms with our loss, I received a phone call from people claiming to be from an anti-drugs group demanding £40,000. In return for this money, they could guarantee that this campaign against me would stop. I did not have £40,000 to give them and informed them so.
On at least a dozen occasions I have spoken to members of CFAD, continually guaranteeing that my involvement with drugs had ceased long before this self appointed group came into existence.I would also like to take this opportunity to guarantee your readers that I am not a drug dealer nor am I laundering drug money, as was stated in their last piece of literature about me.
Before Christmas the PSNI informed me that I was under threat and my life could be in danger. This reinforced my desire to met with CFAD and put the record straightOnce and for all, and as Father Gary Donegan will confirm, there was a meeting arranged for two o’clock on a December afternoon in the monastry. Ten minutes prior to the meeting taking place Fr Gary phoned me and told me that CFAD had cancelled the meeting. This left me without the chance to challenge their allegations.
Also there was a pipe-bomb left outside my home in my work van. My street had to be evacuated, elderly and young included.Then on Saturday past, a number of men went to a car wash that I previously owned, distributing leaflets again accusing me of being a drug baron and laundering money through this car wash. However to their disappointment and my amusement a member of staff informed these people that the car wash was closed due to the fact that the rent could not be afforded by the previous owner.
These men then knee jerked and had an ad hoc protest outside our family owned shop. My family confronted the people involved in this protest yet again, all to no avail.I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge my past, which is no worse than a lot of young people who grew up in socially disadvantaged areas such as Ardoyne.But it is just that, THE PAST.However given this ongoing campaign of deceit, lies and torture against me and my family, I have come to the decision to leave my family home as my wife is expecting another child and as is at the same stage of pregnancy now as she was when we lost our child last year. I am not leaving through fear of these people or their lies, I just cannot place my family in such a dangerous environment.
Finally I would like to add that no one more than myself knows the dangers pain and loss that comes with hard drugs as I was addicted to cocaine myself for several years.
Sean Cassidy, Ardoyne