Northern Ireland news

Politicians condemn New Lodge AAD attack

Action Against Drugs has claimed they carried out an attack on a house in New Lodge on Monday night
Connla Young

Politicians have condemned an attack on a house in north Belfast days after Action Against Drugs threatened the parents of young people alleged to be involved in anti-social activity.

In a statement to the Irish News AAD said it targeted the family home in New Lodge area on Monday and “wrecked it”.

Police later said it was reported that paint was thrown over a house and two windows in a door were smashed at around 10.45pm.

In a statement the PSNI said “a number of people dressed in dark clothing were seen running away from the property”.

Contractors were involved in a clean-up operation at the house yesterday.

It is believed that plastic bags filled with paint were used to splatter the front of the house with paint and that the front door had been busted open.

Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín condemned the attack which she said left “neighbours and elderly residents frightened”.

“This attack was carried out by Action Against Drugs just days after their desperate attempt to gain relevance,” she said.

“There is no place for these types of vigilante groups. They have been rejected by the people of the New Lodge and should now get off the community’s back.

“All criminality should be dealt with by the police.”

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker has also condemned the attack.

Earlier this week AAD issued a statement to The Irish News which said: “Parents who condone and allow their sons/daughters to participate will be held responsible for the actions.

“Control your youth or we will.”

The warning came days after armed and masked men were pictured in the New Lodge in front of graffiti threatening to take action.

The threats follow a controversial anti-internment bonfire which was built in the area by young people earlier this month and an upsurge in anti-social behaviour.

In its statement the group said it will also continue to target drug dealers.

“Our main aim is still the drug epidemic sweeping our areas,” it said.

“Our message to those involved in drug dealing (is) ‘be afraid’.

It added that “we will stop the scum terrorising our areas”.

It has previously claimed responsibility for killing north Belfast man Danny McKay in 2012, alleging he was a drug dealer.

It also shot dead fast food delivery man Dan Murray in west Belfast in May 2016 and Joe Reilly in Poleglass, on the outskirts of west Belfast, in October that year.

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