PSNI quiet as republicans bicker

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The PSNI police have so far refused to say who they believe was responsible for a firework thrown at the home of Gerry Adams last weekend.

CCTV film showed a large firework which cracked the windscreen of a car parked outside Mr Adams’s home in West Belfast and showered the front of the house with sparks.

A similar device was thrown at the home of prominent Sinn Fein figure Bobby Storey.

The PSNI has declined to single out any grouping, instead stating that a “number of lines of inquiry” remain open.

Fireworks have been used by loyalists at their bonfires in recent weeks, as well as in sectarian attacks in east Belfast.

Speculation by Sinn Fein that a breakaway IRA armed group could have been responsible has been dropped, but it said it still suspects “fringe vigilante dissidents” were involved.

Hundreds of people attended a rally in west Belfast on Monday evening to demonstrate support for Mr Adams and Mr Storey.

At the event, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald railed against the ‘New IRA’ who she said were ‘enemies of the people’.

“They are enemies of peace. They are against their own people and against their own community,” she said.

“Recently posters appeared temporarily in this area saying ‘Gerry, we’re not going anywhere’. Well it is you who are not going anywhere.

“So the attacks on the homes of Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey, were wrong and are a mark of failure.”

She condemned acts of violence by other groups over the ‘Twelfth’, including the UVF.

“It is also important to state that the attacks on the people of the Bogside, the Fountain, in Portadown and the Short Strand are also wrong and a measure of the failure of those behind them.

“The sectarian attacks that we have seen in recent days were disgraceful.

“Those involved have no right to claim to be Irish republicans because, in their sectarianism and their anti-social activities they are the very opposite of republicanism.

“The only war these people are waging is a war against their own people and against their own communities.”

She said Sinn Fein was prepared to show leadership and “to confront the critics and opponents of peace”.

“The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference will meet on the 25th of this month. I would urge both governments to seize the opportunity it offers to inject some momentum and progress back into the process by dealing with the issues of equality and rights which are at the heart of the impasse.

“And whatever about the response of the two governments to that, I give you this assurance. Sinn Fein will not be deterred from doing what we do and what needs to be done.

She added: “We will prevail, we will overcome, we will not be denied.”

In a statement last weekend, Saoradh, which has links to the ‘New IRA’, condemned the firework incidents and rejected what it said were “false allegations”.

“Attacks on the homes of anyone within our communities due to their political beliefs are wrong. Our activists have consistently stated this publicly and privately - before, during and after Saoradh’s formation.”

It also condemned what it said was Sinn Fein’s silence on PSNI brutality and the use of plastic bullets against rioting youths in Derry, which they said suggested “not only endorsement but complicity”.

“For our part, Saoradh will continue to lead the fightback against normalisation and pacification of proud Revolutionary communities. Regardless of collaboration by constitutionalists, capitalists and clergy, we will not be derailed by false allegations directed against our membership and wider Movement.”

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