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Irish clerics receive death threats

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Death threats were reported against three chaplains who appealed for an end to a Protestant demonstration over a blocked march after three young brothers died in a sectarian firebombing.

The Rev. Robert Coulter, one of the three clergy from the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organization, said Friday he believed the threats were the work of cranks. But another, the Rev. Warren Porter, said police were taking them seriously."They came to tell us in the middle of the night, but I am not particularly worried about it," Porter said.

The third was the Rev. William Bingham, the first Orange Order member to declare that a march down the Catholic Garvaghy Road in Portadown, about 25 miles southwest of Belfast, would be a "hollow victory" in the shadow of three coffins.

Bingham refused to comment, as did police.

The Orange Order issued a statement condemning the threats.

Tensions spilling over from the blocked march were blamed for the Sunday morning firebombing that took the lives of Richard Quinn, 11, and his brothers Mark, 10, and Jason, 9, in Ballymoney, 40 miles northwest of Belfast.

On Friday, police arrested four more people in the deaths. Three other suspects remained in custody.