Sinn Féin ‘will not be deterred’ by gun attack on Belfast office

Bullet casings found outside office in Turf Lodge area of west Belfast on Monday

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey, left, and Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan point to a mark made by a bullet during an attack on their constituency office. Photograph: Rebecca Black/PA Wire

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey, left, and Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan point to a mark made by a bullet during an attack on their constituency office. Photograph: Rebecca Black/PA Wire

 

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey has said Sinn Féin will not be deterred from constituency work after shots were fired at a party office.

Bullet casings were found outside the office in the Turf Lodge area on Monday morning.

It is understood that CCTV at the office revealed shots were fired at the office by a gunman on January 3rd.

It is the second attack on the office in four months, following a previous incident in October when shots were also fired at the building.

Sinn Féin’s headquarters at Connolly House on the Falls Road were damaged in an arson attack last August.

In July the west Belfast home of former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams was targeted in a drive-by attack in which an explosive device was thrown at the property.

An explosive was also thrown at the house of Sinn Féin activist Bobby Storey on the same night.

Mr Maskey said: “There has been a number of attacks on our offices throughout west Belfast, and we are calling for that to stop.

“We will not be deterred from the work that we do. We carry out a first-class constituency service for the people of west Belfast, and people are very thankful for that. People have said to us they are disgusted by these attacks.”

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan said they condemned the attacks “in the strongest possible terms”.

“We either stand up to these people or we bend the knee, and we will not be bending the knee,” he said.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is investigating the incident.

Det Sgt Sam McCallum said officers attended the scene and recovered the casings, which were taken away for further examination.

“This was a reckless attack in what is a built-up residential area. Someone could easily have been injured, or worse, by a stray bullet,” he said.

He appealed for anyone with information to call detectives at Musgrave on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 367 08/01/19. – PA