Belfast Telegraph

Captured on camera: second gun attack on west Belfast Sinn Fein office in three months

Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

A Sinn Fein MLA has condemned those behind a second shooting incident at his constituency office in west Belfast.

Pat Sheehan was speaking after the attack in the Norglen Road/Monagh Crescent area of Ballymurphy.

The party released CCTV footage showing a masked gunman opening fire on the building just before 2.20am last Thursday, January 3.

Nobody was injured, and one bullet hole was visible on the shutter of the office yesterday.

The property was previously attacked last October, in which a man in his 30s was shot in the leg.

Sinn Fein's nearby headquarters at Connolly House on the Falls Road were also damaged in an arson attack in August.

In November police warned Mr Sheehan and senior party member Bobby Storey that death threats had been issued against them.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Sheehan said: "When our office reopened on Monday after the weekend, staff found some spent bullet casings.

"We reported the incident to police and handed over the casings.

"On Thursday we received reports from residents in the area that they had heard what appeared to be gunfire last week.

"We checked our CCTV, which showed a gunman walking around to the front of the building and firing four shots.

"We reported that to police last night and they were here first thing this morning.

"They took away the CCTV footage for further examination."

Mr Sheehan said his party will not be intimidated from providing local people with constituency services and representation by those behind the latest gun attack on the office.

West Belfast Sinn Fein MP Paul Maskey also said the party will not be deterred, adding: "We carry out a first-class constituency service for the people of west Belfast and people are very thankful for that."

Gerry McConville from the Falls Community Council said local people stood in solidarity with Mr Sheehan and his staff.

"This is the constituency office of a democratically elected politician and provides a great service to this area," he said.

"This is not just an attack on this office or any political party, but an attack on our community.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people who work within the office, many of them voluntarily on behalf of this whole constituency.

"People are absolutely repulsed by what has happened and we would call on whoever is behind this to stop immediately."

PSNI Detective Sergeant Sam McCallum described the incident as "a reckless attack in what is a built-up residential area".

He added: "Someone could easily have been injured, or worse, by a stray bullet. Thankfully we are not looking at any injuries."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call detectives at Musgrave on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 367 of January 8.

Belfast Telegraph


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