District Judge Barney McElholm has defended the granting of anonymity to people charged with drug offences due to the fact 'we happen to have a nest of dissidents in this city.'
During an application for anonymity at Derry Magistrates Court, the judge hit out at those behind threats and shootings in the city.
He said there would be no need for anonymity if we did not have 'a bunch of criminals' shooting people.
He added: "How dare these people set themselves up as vigilantes they have no moral or any other sort of authority?
"Anyone who had to tramp through the bomb site in Omagh as I had to in August 1998 will see them for the scum that they are.
"They have no right whatsoever to set themselves up as any sort of authority."
The judge said that people including some politicians had queried the number of anonymity applications being granted in his court but he said if there were no dissidents shooting people there was no need for anonymity.
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