The home of Gerry Adams and others belonging to Sinn Féin members in west Belfast were targeted in a series of orchestrated loyalist attacks today.

Sinn Féin general secretary Mitchel McLaughlin said the homes were the subject of ball bearing attacks last night, with some houses sustaining damage. No-one was injured.

“It has now been established that the homes of Gerry Adams, Fra McCann and Chrissie McAuley were all targeted last night in ball bearing attacks.

“A number of other republicans homes in West Belfast were also attacked.

“This wave of attacks replicates similar incidents last year when dozens of republicans homes were targeted in Belfast.

“It is clear that all of the attacks last night were linked and those responsible were operating with accurate information regarding the addresses of republicans. One source of this information could obviously be the PSNI.”

Fra McCann said the attack on his home occurred shortly after 11pm.

“Thankfully only the outer panes of glass were broken and the ball bearings failed to enter the inside of the house. This attack has obviously caused distress for my family and has caused a great deal of anger locally.

“Whichever group or individual was behind this attack on my home need to realise that they will not prevent me or my colleagues from representing the people of this area.

“We will not be intimidated by attacks like this. Along with the local community we will continue to stand up against criminality and against those who are attempting to intimidate and threaten this community.”

A series of sectarian attacks in the Six Counties in recent weeks has been blamed on a unionist paramilitary campaign of intimidation as the marching season approaches.

The UDA was been blamed for a series of attacks on Catholic cars and homes last week, particularly in Belfast, where rioting broke out on Sunday.

In Ahoghill, County Antrim, the home of an elderly woman living alone was petrol bombed, and in Derry, the UDA has been blamed for a hoax pipe bomb attack on a Catholic estate.

Mr McLaughlin urged nationalists to be vigilant.

“I would also wish to make it very clear to those behind these attacks and those directing and controlling them that Sinn Féin will not be intimidated by this sort of activity,” he added.

“We will not be deflected from representing our electorate and continuing to challenge inequality and injustice and pursue vigorously the demand of Irish unity and independence.”

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© 2005 Irish Republican News