Northern Ireland news

Senior Sinn Féin members 'reviewing security' after attacks on Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey's homes

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald addresses supporters at a rally in west Belfast after attacks on the homes of Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey. Picture by Cliff Donaldson
Press Association

SINN Féin president Mary Lou McDonald has warned dissident republicans behind an attack on Gerry Adams' home that her party will not be intimidated.

Mrs McDonald said senior party members were reviewing their security in the wake of Friday's night incidents at the west Belfast homes of Mr Adams and Sinn Féin activist Bobby Storey.

Police have said explosive devices thrown at both men's homes were industrial-type fireworks with the capacity to cause serious injury.

A car on the driveway of Mr Adams's property was significantly damaged in the blast.

Mrs McDonald was in Belfast on Monday to attend a rally in the west of the city to demonstrate support for her two party colleagues.

"We are not going to be intimidated," she said.

"If that is the ruse here, if that's the strategy here that will fail. We will not be put off our task, we will not be bullied, we will not be intimated and, more importantly, communities right across the north of Ireland and beyond will not be bullied or intimidated either."

She added: "The police and ourselves share the same analysis on these events. It is the work of violence dissidents who wish to destabilise and go against the democratic wishes of the majority for peace and for advancement."

Asked whether members would be reviewing their security, Mrs McDonald replied: "It is only sensible given there has been an attack on Gerry and Bobby Storey that people would be sensible about their personal security."

Applause for Mr Adams and Mr Storey as they take to the platform. Picture by Cliff Donaldson.

On Saturday, Mr Adams urged those behind the attack to meet with him to explain their rationale.

Mrs McDonald said Sinn Féin believe the attacks on the homes of Mr Adams and Mr Storey were potentially in response to the party's criticism of six successive nights of violent disorder in Derry, believed to have been orchestrated by dissidents .

"I suspect there is a link," Mrs McDonald said.

"Let's be very clear - this is a very small faction within broader society who wish to cause conflict and division."

Mr Adams led Sinn Féin from 1983 until February of this year, while Mr Storey has previously served as the party's northern chairman.

Mrs McDonald said the dissidents were trying to exploit the current political vacuum created by a lack of a power sharing government..

"The response is uniform, people aren't having it," she added.

"And those violent dissidents who wish to cause trouble and sow division need to understand that they will fail because the communities will not allow them to succeed."

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