[Sinn Fein]

15 August 2000

Loyalist attacks

North Belfast Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly has rubbished claims that Republicans attempted to kill Shankill loyalist Johnny Adair last night and has accused the UDA of firing shots at Catholic houses in Clifton Park Avenue.

Mr Kelly said,

``The story concocted by Johnny Adair and the UDP is extremely dubious to say the least. I have conducted extensive inquiries in nationalist areas and the claim that Republicans were behind a pipe-bomb attack against Johnny Adair is without foundation, as were earlier claims that Republicans were responsible for attacks on loyalist homes in Denmark Street. It is a widely held view that these attacks on loyalist homes were staged in order to provide a smokescreen for the wave of attacks which we have seen since''.

Mr Kelly continued,

``We do not dispute the likelihood of a pipe-bomb being in the vicinity given that the UDA have been behind an ever increasing number of attacks against nationalists and it is well known that the pipe-bomb is a tool of the loyalist death squads. News that Mr Adair has refused to hand over the car he was travelling in for forensic examination also raises a number of suspicions about what really happened last night. It appears even the RUC doubt the UDA version of events''.

Mr Kelly concluded,

``The facts are that the UDA has been involved in an orchestrated campaign to increase tensions since before Drumcree. This started with street protests and continued on with threats, intimidation, shows of strength, attacks on homes and now the firing of shots. In light of this pattern there is now a very real threat against Catholics and I would urge people to remain vigilant. They are trying to create the conditions in which they will kill Catholics.''

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