Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Monday, 5 January 2009

Splinter group blamed for threat

Springfield Park road sign
The men burst into Mr O'Halloran's home at Springfield Park

A west Belfast man has accused a republican splinter group of being responsible for bursting into his home and demanding money.

Joe O'Halloran was at home with his wife and family, and a friend and his 11-year-old daughter, when an armed gang forced their way in.

The men, who claimed they were from Óglaigh na hÉireann, left empty-handed.

Mr O'Halloran, a former republican prisoner, called for the organisation responsible to make a public apology.

"One of them came into the living room and put a gun to my friend's head, and told him that his son Martin was a drug dealer," he said.

"My friend told them he had no son called Martin."

Mr O'Halloran said the robber demanded money and told him his son was being held hostage.

"He said 'There's a secret chair in this house with £80,000 in it'. I told them: 'There's something wrong with your head'."

None of Mr O'Halloran's sons was being held, and he said he wanted a face-to-face meeting with the group behind the attack.

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