Belfast Telegraph

Renegade Republicans attack pub

BY STEPHEN BREEN

A GUN attack in a quiet Ulster fishing village was last night linked to a violent feud among renegade republicans.

A GUN attack in a quiet Ulster fishing village was last night linked to a violent feud among renegade republicans.



Sunday Life can reveal that the two masked men who blasted the roof of the Anchor Bar in Ardglass, Co Down, last Monday, were members of the Continuity IRA.



It is understood the would-be assassins were hunting for a leading member of a rival republican group.



But when the terrorists realised their target wasn't in the bar, they stunned a handful of customers by blasting the ceiling with a sawn-off shotgun before fleeing.



It's believed the target was tipped off about a possible attack.



And the latest outbreak of violence comes after we revealed last week that a feud between rival republican groups had erupted in Downpatrick.



Among the incidents, a leading member of the CIRA had his car torched, shortly after death threats were issued against his family.



And a number of fights between individual members of rival factions, have also taken place in the last year.



With tension now reaching boiling point between the factions, security sources told Sunday Life last week's murder bid will make things "a lot worse".



The source said: "Things are very delicate between these two groups at the moment, and this latest incident clearly doesn't help matters.



"What happens if shots go off in a crowded bar or street? - an innocent person could end up losing their life.



"Thankfully no-one has lost their life in this violent dispute and we hope it stays this way.



"But if these two groups continue to attack each other in whatever shape or fashion, who's to say we won't end up with dead bodies on the streets.



"We know the Provos have kept out of the trouble, but their hand may be forced if this long-running feud spirals out of control."



But a republican source insisted the IRA would continue to stay "well away" from the trouble.



The source added: "They're reluctant to get involved in something that doesn't involve them."

Belfast Telegraph

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