Northern Ireland news

Gerry Adams has survived several attempts to kill him

During his time as Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has survived several murder bids. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire

As Sinn Féin leader and republican movement figurehead for more than three decades, Gerry Adams has been targeted by his enemies on a number of occasions.

In 1984, soon after becoming party president, the then 35-year-old was shot and wounded in an Ulster Freedom Fighters' attack in Belfast city centre.

The Sinn Féin leader was on a lunch break from an appearance at Belfast Magistrates Court, where he was facing obstruction charges, when the car in which he was travelling was ambushed.

He was hit in the neck, shoulder and arm as several gunmen riddled his car with about 20 bullets.

Three people travelling with Mr Adams were also wounded in the shooting, which took place in front of terrified shoppers.

None was seriously hurt and a fourth man escaped injury. After the shooting, under-cover plain clothes police officers seized three suspects.

Six weeks before the gun attack, Mr Adams said he believed he had a 90 per cent chance of being assassinated.

Two loyalist gunmen, including John 'Grugg' Gregg, who was later shot dead during a loyalist feud, were jailed the following year for attempted murder.

Milltown Cemetery killer Michael Stone claimed Mr Adams and fellow Sinn Féin leader Martin McGuinness were his intended targets when he attacked mourners during the March 1988 funeral of three IRA members shot dead by the SAS in Gibraltar

The graveside gun and grenade attack at the west Belfast cemetery left three dead and scores wounded, though Mr Adams escaped unscathed.

Stone again claimed the Sinn Féin leader was his intended target in 2006 when he attempted to force his into Stormont's Parliament Buildings.

The assassination attempt was thwarted after security guards disarmed the notorious loyalist killer, who had been released from prison under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

In 2003, police warned the then West Belfast MP that he was being targeted for assassination by republicans opposed to the peace process.

However, it is understood that last week's attack on the former Sinn Féin president's Belfast home was the first time he or his property had been directly targeted by dissident republicans.

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