Attackers of Adams and Storey homes are ‘enemies of peace’

Sinn Féin president McDonald decries dissident republicans during rally in west Belfast

Bobby Storey (left) and Gerry Adams address a rally on Monday night beside the old Andersonstown police station, Belfast, following attacks on their homes last week. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Bobby Storey (left) and Gerry Adams address a rally on Monday night beside the old Andersonstown police station, Belfast, following attacks on their homes last week. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Those who attacked the homes of Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey are “enemies of the people” and “enemies of the peace”, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said in west Belfast.

Ms McDonald joined several hundred people who turned out on Monday to protest against attacks on the homes of her predecessor Mr Adams and Mr Storey, a senior republican.

Their homes in west Belfast were targeted on Friday night in attacks Ms McDonald blamed on dissident republicans.

No one was injured in the incidents in which explosive devices were thrown at the homes of both prominent republicans, although Mr Adams said that his grandchildren were playing in the driveway shortly before the attack.

Monday night’s rally was held beside the former Andersonstown police station. It was also held to show support for the people of Derry who last week sustained six nights of disorder which dissident republicans were blamed for fomenting.

Ms McDonald said, to applause, “that unlike the cowards who attacked their family homes Gerry and Bobby are true and fine republicans “.

She described those behind the violence as sectarian, “backward-looking” and “mindless” thugs.

“Let me be clear, the people who launched these attacks are enemies of the people, they are enemies of the peace, and enemies working against the interests of their own community,” she said. “The only war these people wage is against their own community.”

Not going anywhere

Ms McDonald referred to recent dissident posters saying “Gerry, we are not going anywhere”.

“You got that in one. You are certainly not going anywhere,” said the Sinn Féin president.

She urged the British and Irish Governments at next week’s meeting of the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference “to seize the opportunity” to deal “with the issues of equalities and rights which have seen an impasse in our politics and the suspension of our powersharing institutions”.

Mr Adams challenged those responsible for the attacks to justify their actions and explain the rationale behind it. “You are either for peace or you are against peace,” he said.

Mr Storey said those who carried out the attacks “need to go back to where they come from”.

He said they needed to get the message that they would not deflect republicans from their “road to a new and modern United Ireland”.

Sinn Féin’s Northern leader Michelle O’Neill said people in Derry and Belfast people “were under siege from anti-peace process elements, under siege from people who wish to turn against their own communities and under siege from people that have been using children to go out and fight their battles.

“We are here tonight to say we will stand for it no more,” said Ms O’Neill.