Republican News · Thursday 13 July 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Loyalist gun attacks

Two nationalists from the Ardoyne area of North Belfast narrowly escaped death and injury when a loyalist gunman's weapon jammed. The attack took place in the early hours of Thursday morning, 6 July. Patrick Bradley and a friend were standing at the corner of Brompton Park and Etna Drive when a red Astra car pulled up beside them.

A masked man pointed a gun out of the rear window of the vehicle. One of the two nationalists jumped a wall to escape but the second man fell. At close range, the gunman pulled the trigger twice but the weapon jammed allowing the second Ardoyne man to escape.

The vehicle carrying the masked loyalist gang sped off but was seen in the area again 15 minutes later. A local resident gave chase but stopped when the car drove into the lower Shankill at Denmark Street. The vehicle was spotted again 45 minutes after the first incident in the Torrens area.

Commenting on his ordeal, Bradley said: ``It wouldn't have mattered who we were; as long as we were Catholic they were happy to kill us.''

A nationalist from the Magherfelt area was shot in the face when he attempted to remove a Union Jack flag on the Glenleslie Road near Clough in County Antrim. 25-year-old Seamus McCloy was shot with a legally held shotgun.

McCloy, a joiner, was travelling home with four other workmen when the incident took place. A second man was also injured. Following the shooting, McCloy was rushed to a hospital in Coleraine and later transferred to Altnagelvin Hospital, where his condition has been decribed as ``comfortable.

In a further attack by loyalist gunmen, a Catholic taxi driver and his passengers narrowly escaped injury when a loyalist gunman jumped out in front of the West Belfast taxi.

At 11pm on Sunday night, the taxi driver was taking two passengers from the depot to a pub in South Belfast. After coming off the Broadway roundabout, the car was travelling along the loyalist Glenmachan Street towards Tates Avenue when a number of masked men appeared in front of the taxi.

One of the passengers shouted a warning as a masked man at the rear pointed a gun towards the vehicle. The driver, fearing for his life, put his head on the steering wheel and swerved away from the men in front of his car.

A brick was thrown through the rear side window, injuring one passenger. ``Had they got us we were dead,'' said the taximan.

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