No justification for dissident violence
FOLLOWING potentially lethal attacks on the homes of Gerry Adams and prominent republican Bobby Storey, Mr Adams asked those responsible to come forward and explain the rationale behind their actions.
While the police have so far not said they think dissident republicans were behind the attacks using “industrial grade fireworks” the former Sinn Féin president appeared in his comments to be very firmly of the view that the outrages were perpetrated by dissidents.
Mr Adams was the target of a loyalist murder bid in 1984 and was also present when Michael Stone launched an attack on the funeral of an IRA man several years later.
However, if it is correct that dissident republicans were responsible for this latest incident it could mark a serious escalation in the aims of this small band of murderous individuals.
It is clear that these organisations have minimal support, evidenced by the ceasefires called by some of the dissident organisations in recent times.
Sadly, before calling those ceasefires they were responsible for many deaths including members of the security services and civilians.
On Friday night two of Mr Adams’s grandchildren were in the driveway of his home 10 minutes before the device was thrown at the house. They could easily have been the latest victims of these individuals.
Pictures of a car damaged by the blast are evidence that anyone unlucky enough to be caught in the explosion could have been seriously hurt.
If these people continue with such reckless behaviour it is inevitable that they will hurt, possibly kill, more victims. For that reason it is important that they are taken out of society, brought before the courts and punished. Anyone with information about whoever carried out these attacks should give that help to the authorities to save lives.
Mr Adams said that he believed there was a link between events in Derry and the attacks on his home and that of Bobby Storey. Police have blamed dissident republicans for directing young people in attacks against its officers in the Bogside area over six nights last week.
Politicians of all the main parties condemned the violence and some warned that the only people to suffer would be the misguided young people who took part in the violence.
The police have already brought charges and insist that they will continue seek out those responsible for carrying out the violence which included the use of guns, explosives and petrol bombs.
Hopefully the police will be successful in bringing to justice the figures who have taken advantage of the young people involved and who use them as cannon fodder without any thought for the damage that an arrest and conviction might do to their future.
Perhaps if they ever do attempt to explain their rationale for the attacks on the homes of Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey, they will tell us what the needless creation of criminal records for young people will achieve.
However, nothing they can say will justify what happened last week in Derry or on Friday night in Belfast.