21 January 2010 Edition
GAA footballers targeted by loyalist bombers
Two crude explosive devices were hidden near the Stiles Community Centre in Antrim Town last Thursday night, 14 January, where members of the St Comgall’s squad train.
The PSNI described the bombs, which had to be dealt with by British army bomb experts as, “crude”, and “non-viable”.
Tommy Crilly, chairperson of St Comgall’s said members of the team had walked past one of the crude devices, which was left at the front door of the community facility.
“We are a patently non-sectarian organisation”, said Crilly, “whose concerted efforts in encouraging participation from all sections of the Antrim community are well recognised”.
The PSNI described the attack as sectarian while local people believe it was carried out by a loyalist faction labelling itself the ‘Real UFF’.
News of the attack came just days after it was revealed that a fifth Sinn Féin politician, Alex Maskey, has been warned that his life is under threat from the so-called Orange Volunteers.
Party President Gerry Adams as well Gerry Kelly, Caitríona Ruane, and Francie Molloy have been warned that their lives are under threat from the Orange Volunteers.
The Orange Volunteers are believed to be a predominantly South Antrim-based group. They came to prominence in the late 1990s when in October of that year over 400 crown forces security files containing the details of nationalists were uncovered in Stoneyford Orange Hall.
Stoneyford, nine miles from Belfast, was said to be the power base of the Orange Volunteers.
In the course of the last number of years the group has been engaged in a campaign of harassment against Catholic and nationalist residents of the village, forcing many to flee their homes.