Men told to leave Ireland by IRA come out of hiding

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First Edition

TWO MEN living under the threat of IRA assassination came out of hiding yesterday.

David Madigan, 20, and Liam Kearns, 24, from Newry, Co Down, who have been on the run for almost a year after terrorists ordered them to leave Northern Ireland, said they believed the IRA had lifted its death threat, made last August for what it called 'anti-social behaviour'.

The pair - who are not connected with any paramilitary group _ emerged from a secret address to return to their home town near the border with the Republic within 36 hours of the Provisionals' murder of three men they claimed were informers.

Mr Madigan said yesterday: 'This has been a hard and stressful time, not just for us but for our families as well. All we want to do now is to pick up from where we left off and hopefully we will come to no harm.'

Post-mortem examinations were being carried out yesterday on the three alleged IRA informers whose bodies, with bullet wounds in the head, were found dumped in south Armagh. Johnny Dignam, 32, and Aidan Starrs, 29, will be buried tomorrow, and the funeral of Gregory Burns, 34, will be held on Sunday.

Last night, loyalists were urged to call off a parade through the home town of the three men. A Catholic community group in Portadown, Co Armagh, fears tensions will be increased if the Orange Order goes ahead with the march on Sunday, shortly after the funeral of Mr Burns.