Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Hundreds attend Sinn Fein solidarity rally in west Belfast - 'The only war these people are waging is a war against their own people'

LIVE: Sinn Fein solidarity rally protesting recent attacks on the homes of Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey.

Posted by Belfast Telegraph on Monday, July 16, 2018

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald has said that those behind the attacks on the homes of senior Sinn Fein figures Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey have no right to call themselves republicans.

The Dublin Central TD was speaking at a rally in west Belfast on Monday night to show solidarity “to Gerry Adams, Bobby Storey, their families and every family that has been subjected to intimidation and fear over the last number of days and weeks.”

Hundreds of people turned out to show their support after an explosive device was thrown at Mr Adams Belfast home on Friday night.

The home of prominent republican Bobby Storey in west Belfast was also attacked. No-one was hurt in either incident.

Speaking at the rally former Sinn Fein leader Mr Adams repeated his challenge to those behind the attacks to meet him face-to-face and explain their reasoning.

He said he was thankful no one had been hurt in Friday night’s attacks.

The former party president delivered a stark message to the dissidents as he addressed the crowds.

“You are either for peace or you are against peace,” he said.

“And if you feel there is justification in bombing our house or bombing Theresa and Bobby’s house or the other incidents that have taken place then step up and explain yourself, justify your actions, stand over what you have done and explain the rationale behind it.”

Mr Storey told the rally he was “overwhelmed” by the turn out.

Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein hold a rally of support at the former Andersonstown barracks for Bobby Storey and Gerry Adams on July 16th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

He said the dissidents would not deflect Sinn Fein’s strategy.

“These people need to go back to wherever they come from,” he said.

“You see this despair and frustration that they are taking out in their lack of strategy with everyone else, they need to understand from us – we have been at this a very long time, we are on a particular journey, republicanism is developing across the island, we are on a road to a new and modern and united Ireland and nothing will deflect us.

“We haven’t been deflected before and they need to get that message.”

Party President Mary Lou McDonald paid tribute to Mr Adams and Mr Storey.

"Unlike the cowards who attacked their family homes, Gerry and Bobby are genuine Republicans and have stood firm against those who would attempt to drag us back to the failures of the past," Mrs McDonald said.

"And let me be absolutely clear here today, the people who launched these attacks are enemies of our community.

"They are enemies of peace. They are against their own people and against their own community."

The Sinn Fein leader called for an end to the violence seen in recent weeks across Northern Ireland.

"But it is also important to state that the attacks on the people of the Bogside, the Fountain, in Portadown and the Short Strand are also wrong and a measure of the failure of those behind them," Mrs McDonald said.

"The sectarian attacks that we have seen in recent days were disgraceful.

"Those involved have no right to claim to be Irish republicans because, in their sectarianism and their anti-social activities they are the very opposite of republicanism.

LIVE: Mary Lou McDonald statement after attacks on Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey’s homes

Posted by Belfast Telegraph on Monday, July 16, 2018

"The only war these people are waging is a war against their own people and against their own communities.

"They are a disgrace and they should stop."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph