UDA attempt mass murder at pub
Unionist paramilitaries crashed a fork lift truck into a north
Belfast pub last night in an attempt to murder staff and
Windows were smashed and structural damage caused to the Thirty
Two Degrees North pub on the Crumlin Road as the vehicle smashed
into the building.
The truck used in the attack just after midnight was driven from
a building site at nearby Twaddell Avenue. It was packed with
slates and burning wood, doused in petrol.
When that impacted on the building, the steel shutter of the bar
was wrecked and a fire started.
Staff and customers managed to get out without being injured but
were in a state of shock. However, they were then attacked by
a mob some 50 loyalists at Twaddell Avenue who began throwing
missiles towards the bar.
Sinn Fein councillor Margaret McClenaghan, who visited the
scene, said it was "a well organised plan to cause as much death
and damage as they possibly could."
She said it was carried out by the UDA.
"There have been many attacks over the last few weeks in
different areas across the north of the city.
"This was the most serious and it is by the grace of God that
nobody was killed there last night."
Meanwhile, the UVF was last night blamed for the shooting of a
south Belfast taxi driver.
Stephen Clarke was sitting in a car in the Village area of south
Belfast on Wednesday night when a gunman approached his car and
Mr Clarke, who is a part owner of Windsor Taxi firm, was
seriously injured after being struck in the head and chest.
However, the motivation for the attack remains unclear.
South Belfast Sinn Fein Assembly member Alex Maskey said that
the area had seen an escalation in activity by by unionist
"This has involved attacks on ethnic minority communities and
also on Catholics living in a local apartment complex.
"As has become common practice the response of the various
strands of political unionism has been muted in the face of this
activity. Indeed many nationalists believe that statements made
by a number of local unionist elected representatives have
actually given succour to these paramilitary gangs."
COUNCILLORS SENT BULLETS
Sinn Fein has said its members will not be intimidated after
bullets in envelopes were intercepted by postal staff in the
North. One councillor in Tyrone received a bullet in the mail.
Twelve councillors and assembly members across the Six Counties
were told of threats against them. Those sent bullets included
assembly members Alex Maskey (South Belfast), Gerry Kelly (North
Belfast), Fra McCann (West Belfast) and Philip McGuigan (North
A bullet was also intercepted en route to the home of the
elderly parents of Belfast Republican Bobby Storey.
The suspicious packages were spotted in the sorting office in
Mallusk, County Antrim on Wednesday night.
Party chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin blamed unionist
paramilitaries for the intimidation.
"Sinn Fein members are unfortunately no strangers to this sort
of organised campaign of intimidation," he said. "A number of
party members and elected representatives have been killed by
unionist paramilitaries over the years and in recent weeks and
months party members in North Antrim have been the victims of
bomb attacks on their homes."
A County Down mother-of-two has been the target of a pipe bomb
attack on her home.
The pipe bomb bounced off the window and landed in the front
garden on Monday night. It failed to explode, although it
wasdescribed as a "viable device".
part of an orchestrated sectarian campaign by loyalists, it has
Ann Casey, who was in bed when the device was thrown, said the
experience was terrifying.
"I thought it was a bomb going off, it made such a bang," she
"This is the first time we have ever had any trouble and I hope
it is the last time. The only reason I can think this happened
is because I am a Catholic."
Upper Bann Sinn Fein assembly member John O'Dowd said the bomb
was part of a campaign against nationalist families by unionist
Meanwhile, a petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Ennis-killen.
The device was thrown at a home in the Drumbawn estate shortly
before midnight on Monday. No-one was injured in the attack.