Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin `will not be intimidated or deterred' following shooting at west Belfast constituency office

CCTV footage of a gun attack on a Sinn Fein constituency office in the Monagh Crescent area of west Belfast. Photo by Mal McCann
Marie Louise McConville

CCTV images have emerged of a gunman opening fire on a Sinn Féin constituency office in west Belfast.

Police yesterday appealed for information about the attack in the early hours of Thursday, January 3.

Footage of the incident shows a man walking along Monagh Road before turning left into Monagh Crescent, where the Sinn Féin office is located.

The man, who is wearing a hooded top with the hood pulled up, and gloves, raises a gun and fires a number of shots at the building.

At one stage, the man appears to struggle with the gun. He then runs from the scene.

Yesterday, Detective Sergeant Sam McCallum said police received a report on Tuesday, January 8 that "bullet casings had been found outside office premises at Monagh Crescent in Ballymurphy the day before (Monday January 7).

"Police attended the scene and recovered the casings, which were taken away for further examination.

"A further report made to us last night (Thursday, January 10) stated a number of shots had been fired at the building by a masked gunman on Thursday, January 3, just before 2.20am".

DS McCallum described what had happened as "a reckless attack in what is a built-up residential area".

"Someone could easily have been injured, or worse, by a stray bullet. Thankfully, we are not looking at any injuries".

The PSNI appealed for anyone with information about the attack to contact police on 101.

Sinn Féin assembly member Pat Sheehan said four shots had been fired at the constituency office.

"Shell casings were found close to the building by staff this week," he said.

"Sinn Féin contacted the PSNI on Tuesday and reported the discovery of the casings.

"Local people then told us yesterday that they had heard what sounded like shots being fired last week.

"We checked the CCTV footage at the office and confirmed to police that shots had indeed been fired.

"The police were at the office first thing this morning. They took CCTV footage of the incident and found a further shell casing".

Mr Sheehan said it was the second gun attack on the office.

"There was a previous attack on October 7 and only weeks later I was told by police of a threat to my life," he said.

"We have lived through years of attacks on our members and our offices by loyalists and state forces and Sinn Féin will not be intimidated or deterred by those responsible for this latest attack from providing services without prejudice to all the people of these communities".

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