Sinn Fein has expressed outrage after the Republican plot in Milltown was desecrated last night.
A delinquent gang from the St James’s area of west Belfast is understood to be behind the incident. The gang which goes by the name IBA [‘I’d Buck Anything’ (sic)] have been involved in escalating confrontations with a number of organisations and are said to be “out of control”.
Last week the men were issued with a warning in the name of Oglaigh na hEireann (the IRA) that should leave the district by Thursday morning or they will be shot.
Last week, dozens of members of the breakaway IRA group walked through the streets of St James’ on Tuesday night declaring that they were in control of the district and warning all ‘hoods’ they had 36 hours to leave the area or they would be attacked.
The warning comes just days after the local hooligans taunted the group with graffiti in the area.
Sinn Fein members dismissed the show of strength and called it pointless.
“All they did was confront youths standing at Aldo’s and the youths ran off. They also smashed up one car. But this was about saving face after these kids put it up to them last week with the graffiti at the top of Donegall Road.
“They are feeling under pressure. The ironic thing is they stood back and let these kids riot on the Eleventh Night and now they’ve come back to bite them,” said one supporter.
The situation now appears to have escalated with the graffiti attack at Milltown cemetery.
Sinn Fein said the attack as “an outrageous and disrespectful act of pure vandalism”.
“Several graves and the Irish Proclamation had IBA spray painted on them along with other slogans,” said local representative Paul Maskey.
“There is nothing political or sectarian about this. These really are just unadulterated acts of destruction from anti-social members of our own community. They need to reflect long and hard on what they have done and the hurt they have caused.
“Unfortunately, after speaking to some of the family members who have loved ones buried here the only thing that the perpetrators have achieved is to cause distress to their own community.
“They are obviously local given the nature of the graffiti and the ongoing difficulties with anti social elements using these slogans.
“People from the local area may very well know who was behind it and I would urge anyone with information to come forward as this kind of activity cannot be allowed to continue.”