Northern Ireland news

Shot man quizzed over Gerry Adams attack

Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey after their homes were attacked in July
Connla Young

A MAN shot in the leg in west Belfast at the weekend was questioned about a firework attack on the home of Gerry Adams earlier this year.

The victim, in his thirties, was shot in the leg in the Norglen Road/Monagh Crescent area of Turf Lodge at around 11.30pm on Sunday.

It emerged on Monday that a shot was also fired through a window in a nearby Sinn Féin office around the same time.

The man was later taken to hospital with injuries police have said are “potentially life changing”.

He was one of two men arrested after commercial fireworks were thrown at the homes of former Sinn Féin president Mr Adams and of party colleague Bobby Storey in July. He was later released without charge.

A bullethole in a window at the Sinn Féin office in Turf Lodge near the scene of the paramilitary-style attack. Picture by Mal McCann

There is no suggestion the shooting is in any way linked to the attacks on the senior republicans.

Forensic teams combed the area yesterday and appeared to recover an empty bullet casing from the scene.

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan confirmed his office was targeted.

“The people who carried out this attack have left a man with potentially life-changing injuries,” he said.

“They then recklessly fired a shot across the road and through the window of my constituency office, endangering anyone who may have been in the vicinity.”

“That is an attack on the democratically expressed wishes of the people of his area. Sinn Féin will not be deterred by this mindless attack from providing services to the people of Turf Lodge and west Belfast by the thugs who carried out this attack.”

A forensic officer places a suspected bullet casing into an evidence bag at the scene of the paramilitary-style shooting. Picture by Mal McCann

During the attack on the west Belfast home of Mr Adams a large firework is believed to have been launched from a passing vehicle, causing damage to a car parked in the driveway. Mr Storey’s home was attacked a short time later, causing minor damage. It is believed the attacks were carried out by members of a vigilante group based in west Belfast. Several hundred people later attended a rally in the west of the city in support of the two republicans.

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood condemned the shooting  saying: “Paramilitary-style attacks have no place in our society and must stop immediately.”

“Those taking the law into their own hands must themselves be brought to justice.

“People in west Belfast have the right to live free from this type of vigilantism that does nothing to right wrongs but merely causes more irreparable damage to our community.”

A police spokesman said: “We are treating this brutal shooting as a paramilitary-style attack.

“This incident is another example of how criminal groups seek to control communities through fear and violence."

Damage caused to a car parked in Gerry Adams' driveway following an attack on his home.

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