Loyalist fires gun in the New Lodge

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A loyalist drug dealer became embroiled in a row in the nationalist New Lodge area and attempted to shoot local youths, according to the Irish Republican Socialist Party, who have urged communities to “take the power back”.

The IRSP said a drugs gang operating between Ardoyne and the New Lodge had invited the “deranged” loyalist youth into the area in order to intimidate rivals.

The known loyalist, who openly boasts of his close connections with the paramilitary UDA, entered the Grainne House tower block in the New Lodge.

He was armed and accompanied by two other local drug dealers.

Upon leaving, he was involved in an altercation with several young nationalist teenagers.

At this point, the loyalist produced a shot gun and attempted to shoot the youths, but instead shot himself in the process.

The IRSP said the weapon he used was retrieved by other gang members and it is thought to be still in their possession.

“Given the immense bitter history of suffering inflicted upon working class areas of North Belfast by Loyalist death squads, the conscious decision by local criminals to invite a gun man with proven UDA links into the New Lodge area displays the clear contempt and hatred that these hoods have for their own neighbours,” they said.

“The IRSP ask North Belfast nationalists and republicans to be alert, local criminals have thrown their doors open to hostile elements in an attempt to promote their drugs trade within working class districts, together we must all find a way to take community power back.”

In a separate incident, a member of Republican Sinn Fein [pictured] was attacked by a drug gang at his home in Omagh using knuckle-dusters. RSF warned of an increasing problem with drugs gangs in nationalist areas.

“It is clear that the state police know and allow this to happen in order to destabilize our communities,” they said.

“They are everywhere when we go about our business, harassing, stopping and searching and abusing us, yet when armed loyalists and drug dealers openly attack and attempt to intimidate our members the [PSNI] are mysteriously absent.

“It is time that, as communities, we look out for each other. The state through its security forces are bent on destroying the certain communities.

“If you notice suspicious activity, if you notice drug dealing bring it to the attention of local activists”.

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