Irish Examiner> Breaking News> Homes of Sinn Féin members attacked

15/01/2004 - 9:30:06 PM

Homes of Sinn Féin members attacked

Republicans were tonight told to be on their guard against attacks from loyalist paramilitaries after the homes of two Sinn Féin members had ball bearings fired at them.

Councillor Paul Butler urged his colleagues to be vigilant after his home and the house of West Belfast Assembly member Fra McCann were attacked.

The Red Hand Defenders, a cover name used by both the Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Volunteer Force, claimed responsibility for both incidents.

Police confirmed that they found a ball bearing in the garden of Mr Butler’s home but the attack on Mr McCann’s house was not reported to them.

The ball bearing managed to break the bullet-proof window on Mr Butler’s house, which had been targeted on a number of occasions by loyalists.

The Lisburn councillor said: “This incident reminds all of us that republicans need to be vigilant.
“It also has alarming repercussions at this time when there is a political vacuum.

“I think it also raises questions as to how loyalist groups who have been carrying out this sort of attack are getting intelligence information about where Sinn Féin councillors and republicans live.”

Mr Butler said the attack happened around 9.30pm yesterday. He had received several death threats through the post and graffiti warning him that his life was in danger appeared in a loyalist neighbourhood.

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