Attack on home of Sinn Fein candidate
Unionist paramilitaries have attacked the Antrim home of a woman who
recently stood for local council elections as a Sinn Fein candidate.
Just after midnight on Sunday, Aine Gribben's home in the Rathenraw
estate was attacked by three men who threw bricks and bottles at the
house before driving off towards the Steeple area of the town.
"I was already in bed and asleep when I heard banging downstairs,"
Gribben said this week, "at first I thought I was dreaming but then
heard it again and realized something was wrong. I rushed down to see
what was happening."
Local residents report that the men involved in the assault had been
driving a white Rover 500 and actually had the audacity to stop and ask
for directions to Gribben's home just prior to the attack.
"They looked like they had a bit of drink on them," said one
"and when they drove away they didn't even have the car door shut."
Locals took down the vehicles registration number and have passed it on
to the PSNI. They also noted that one gang member was carrying a
hammer, used to dismantle bricks from a nearby garden wall so the gang
could throw them at the Gribben home.
Eight children were in the home at the time of the attack, the youngest
only five months old, but fortunately only two of the older children
heard anything. Gribben came downstairs to find both badly shaken but
unharmed. The home was left with some exterior damage.
Gribbon adds that she had an odd exchange with a PSNI officer who
attended the scene.
"He asked me, 'Have you done anything?'"
"I asked him, 'What do you mean?' and he said, 'you know, have you
anything to provolk this sort of attention?' I said, 'Well, I stood
for Sinn Fein in the recent elections, is that provocation?' And he
just turned and walked away from me."
"They didn't search around my home or garden to see that it was safe.
In fact, when I pointed out the damage to my house the PSNI told me it
was, 'only muck."
Sinn Fein's Martin Meehan said this attack, and others occurring in the
Antrim area, are part of an ongoing campaign by unionist
"They are attempting to provoke a reaction from local nationalist
in the Greystone and Rathenraw estates of the Town," said Meehan,
"residents are deeply concerned that the unionist paramilitary attacks
against many Antrim nationalists can be linked to police force
saturation in their community."
"I urge all nationalists to remain both calm and vigilant."
Aine Gribben says this sort of behavior is typical of the type of
people unionist paramilitaries are recruiting.
"They don't care about the damage they cause or the hurt and danger
people they target. They just take orders. They don't have a brain in