Video: CCTV captures attack on Gerry Adams' home
A rally will take place this evening to protest recent attacks on the homes of former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and senior republican Bobby Storey.
The west Belfast gathering, which has been organised by Sinn Féin and will take place at the site of the former army barracks in Andersonstown, will feature current party president Mary Lou McDonald speaking out against the recent attacks, which have been linked to dissident republicans.
The attacks happened on Friday at around 10.50pm, when "loud bangs" were heard at Mr Adams's family home in the Norfolk area of west Belfast and Mr Storey's home in the nearby Owenvarragh area.
- Gerry Adams has survived several attempts to kill him
Police did not release the location of the attacks saying they "take into account requests from victims of crime regarding the detail released and the wider impact this could have".
A PSNI spokesperson also refused to clarify if police suspect the incidents occurred simultaneously, or were likely carried out by the same person or persons within a short period of time. The two houses are approximately five minutes' drive apart.
Footage from Friday night’s attack on the home of Gerry Adams. A rally will be held at Andersonstown Barracks on Monday 16 July at 7pm in solidarity with Gerry Adams & Bobby Storey #NotInOurName pic.twitter.com/UVzjSAjgqh— Sinn Féin (@sinnfeinireland) July 15, 2018
CCTV images of the attack on Mr Adams' home show a car passing the house. A spark is visible as a device hits the back of a vehicle in the driveway. It is followed a second later by an explosion and a plume of dust.
The spokesperson urged anyone with information to come forward, and said officers seized "remnants of large industrial, firework-type devices, capable of causing serious damage or injury" at both locations, while a parked car in the driveway of Mr Adams’ home was also damaged.
Mr Adams said that ten minutes before the blast, two of his grandchildren had been standing in the driveway, adding that he was "very, very thankful" no injuries occurred.
Following the attacks, Mr Adams said they may be linked to recent trouble in Derry, and called on those responsible for targeting his home to meet him.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday at Sinn Féin’s Connolly House, he said: "Obviously those who were involved, like the people that were out in east Belfast or out in Derry, have their own agenda in all of this.
"For those who were involved in the attack, if they have the gumption to sneak up on our homes, I'd like them or their representatives to come and meet me. I'd like them to sit down and explain to me what this is about.
"I'd like those who are involved in exploiting children in Derry to do the same thing, or those who are poisoning the atmosphere in east Belfast and causing havoc to do the same thing.”
He added: "Come and sit down and explain to me what this is about. Give us the rationale for this action."
Responding to claims the attacks were carried out by dissidents, a spokesperson for hardline republican group Saoradh described the incidents as "wrong", adding: "We condemn such actions, they serve no purpose and fail to advance republican objectives."
Speaking ahead of tonight’s rally, west Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan said it was "an opportunity for the people of Belfast to come out to show solidarity with the families of Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey and the people of the Bogside in Derry and send a message to those involved in attacks on republicans and on the community to stop immediately".
The incidents at the home of Mr Adams and former Sinn Féin northern chairman Mr Storey, have been condemned by leaders of local parties.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said: "There is absolutely no place in our society for such mindless actions. Thankfully no one was injured.
"It is important, at moments like this, that we all stand together against those who want to drag us back to the past. They should be left in no doubt, it will not work."
Meanwhile, Alliance leader Naomi Long said: "These latest attacks on the homes of Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey are a deliberate and calculated attempt to cause fear and raise tensions within our community. They must be condemned without equivocation by us all."