North Belfast News
14 November 2003

UDA behind Holy Cross pipe bomb and death threat

The day after the screening of the BBC and RTE’s controversial drama Holy Cross, a pipe bomb was left close to the home of a parent whose children attend the Catholic primary school in Ardoyne.

Tina Gallagher, who walked the gauntlet with her daughter Tara during the 12-week dispute, discovered on Tuesday that a warning had been delivered to a Belfast newsroom from the Red Hand Defenders, a cover name used by the UDA, that her life was in danger.

The UDA statement she was being targeted because she was a spokesperson for the Holy Cross parents.

“I am completely outraged at the fact that my life is now in danger,” said Tina Gallagher.

“I thought that everything had calmed down and people who had been at the tunnel walking the gauntlet two years ago were slowly being able to leave it all behind, but obviously that’s not the case.

“I don’t know if this movie is the reason for the attack. I can’t think of anything other reason. I’m not even on the Parents Teachers Association, so why would they think I was?”
Earlier that morning a pipe bomb device was left at the junction of Kerrara Street and the Crumlin Road around 9.30am on Tuesday close to Tina Gallagher’s home.

Chairman of the Board of Governors Fr Aidan Troy who attended the scene said he hoped that that the pipe bomb was an isolated incident.

“I had really hoped there wouldn’t be any trouble, particularly after the screening of the movie.

“The children of Holy Cross, who are my main concern, have been through enough trauma for this type of activity to continue.

“I had expressed my reservations about the drama, and that is why neither the Board of Governors and the Parents Teachers’ Association attended the BBC preview of the movie last week.”

Slating the subsequent death threat on Tina Gallagher the Holy Cross rector branded the UDA threat as completely unacceptable.
“This is the work of a reckless paramilitary group, and that is worrying in itself.

“They are effectively capable of anything and I would hope that this incident will not up the ante in a very sensitive community at this time.”

Slamming the attack as unjustifiable, North Belfast Sinn Féin candidate Kathy Stanton said everybody knew which group was responsible for the attack

“The RHD, who have claimed the attack, is simply a cover name for the UDA.

“They have stated that they were specifically targeting a spokesperson for the Holy Cross Parents.

“This is a fallacy, because what they have actually done is to select the most vulnerable target and attack a mother and her children in their home.

“The UDA is a group that are not on ceasefire and who have been responsible for countless sectarian gun and bomb attacks against nationalists over the past two and a half years.
“In the run up to an election they may try to flex their muscle, especially in North Belfast, and use intimidation instead of politics.”

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