Sunday Life

Pipe-bombed Sinn Fein man 'taped by loyalists'

By Nevin Farrell
28 June 2004

VIDEO footage of a leading Ballymena Sinn Fein activist - who was recently targeted by pipe-bombers - has been shown in loyalist bars in the Co Antrim town.

But defiant Sinn Fein man, Mickey Agnew says the move won't succeed in driving him, or his party, out of Ballymena.

Pictures of Mr Agnew, captured by camcorder during a recent loyalist band parade in Ballymena, have been shown to bar audiences, sources have claimed.

One source claimed the video showed Mickey Agnew "egging on" protesters who blew whistles at the parade.

Mr Agnew said: "If loyalists video me and show it around bars trying to isolate me and threaten me, it's not going to work.

"If they think they can isolate one person to do away with Sinn Fein in Ballymena, it is a very silly thing.

"This is the ongoing undertone that is happening in Ballymena.

"The loyalists see me as a threat because I'm a leading Sinn Fein member, and already they have attacked my house.

"My views on the band parades are well known. There are around 100 loyalist marches a year in Ballymena, and we find a couple are contentious.

"Instead of going down William Street or Market Road, they could go down Parkway, and we are only looking for a bit of consideration."

It is claimed the video was taken as the loyalist band parade passed close to All Saints' Catholic Church in Ballymena on Saturday, June 5 - just two days before a pipe-bomb was placed under Mr Agnew's van in the town's Dunfane area.

But it is not believed to have been shown in the pubs until after the attack.

Mr Agnew has become a prominent Sinn Fein spokesman in Ballymena, which has made him a loyalist hate figure.

Police said they had no "first-hand knowledge" of a loyalist video in Ballymena depicting any individual, but warned that showing such pictures in a public places could be illegal.

Said a PSNI spokesman: "It may be an offence to show such a video with a view to encouraging others to commit criminal acts on a person."

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