A number of weeks ago, a number of Ardoyne Republicans including a former RNU Election Candidate and I were 'notified' by the RUC/PSNI that our lives were under threat from Loyalist Extremists and 'advised' us to update our personal security. One of those warned of the potential threat by the unreformed RUC was former Political Prisoner, Gerard Lagan.
|Gerard Lagan holding fragments left by the blast at his Ardoyne home.|
Last Wednesday evening, November 11th at around 9.20 pm. Gerard Lagan's house was shot into by unknown assailants, smashing the Living-Room window and showering him in fragments of glass from his reinforced window. Luckily for them, no-one else was in the room but his daughters', sons' and grandchildren were also in the house at the time. I immediately visited the Lagan Clann within minutes and spent a number of hours with them, relatives, neighbours, friends, fellow Republican Ex-Prisoners and RNU Activists. We searched around in case there was other dangerous items placed outside. As the family waited for the so-called Police. After almost three hours, the MI5-Directed, RUC/PSNI eventually arrived to 'investigate' the shooting. They informed Gerard that; 'a shotgun has been used in the attack on his home and everyone had to vacate the house and garden. So that, in the event of evidence being present, that our presence could contaminate the scene'. After nearly three hours having passed since the shooting, the clueless Peelers conducted a minimal investigation and went through the motions.
|'Still the RUC to me!'|
Four days have since passed since my friend's house was attacked and he was notified by the RUC/PSNI tonight (Saturday 15th November) that; 'The Red Hand Defenders using a recognised codeword had issued a claim of responsibility for the gun-attack through a Belfast Journalist'. Which is the the norm whenever an Armed Group to authenticate it's bona fides in the British Occupied Six Counties. As a matter of fact, there is no such organisation. Although, the name has been used in a number of killings, bombings and shootings since 1998. Including that of Loyalist Assassin, Frankie Curry, Ardoyne Resident, Brian Service, RUC man, Frank O'Reilly, Lurgan Solicitor, Rosemary Nelson, UDA Informer, William Stobie, Postal Worker, Daniel McColgan, Journalist, Martin O' Hagan, Father of one, Gerard Lawlor and a range of other attacks in the North. In reality is that the RHD, is but a cover-name for the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), a vicious gang of sectarian murderers with close-links to British Intelligence Agencies. As well as, the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), an organised Crime Gang that brokeaway from the UVF in 1996. After it's Leader, Billy Wright (King Rat) was dismissed from the grouping.
The existence, arming, training and continuation of Loyalist Armed Groups have since their foundations been directed by the unaccountable MI5, British Military and the Special Branch. Without their assistance, these Criminal Enterprises' would simply disband. Whereupon, Protestant, Unionist & Loyalist (PUL) communities could live in relative peace without drug-pushing, intimidation and extortioners. The UDA, UVF, RHC and LVF continue to prey on Working-Class families to fund their lavish lifestyles through the hard-earned money of innocent victims. Each and every time, tensions arise between these disparate organisations, history and experience tells Nationalists and Republicans particularly, in North Belfast. That their guns and hatred will be turned on us and our community!
What is so disgusting about Wednesday night's gun attack on the Ardoyne Republican's home is that the Loyalist responsible. Could not have known who was in the room prior to recklessly directing his fire at the Butler Walk house. For all he knew, the two young grandchildren could have been right behind the window.
After the disbandment of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), the Political Wing of the UDA and the demise of moderates in the Party in early, 2001. The UDA launched a serious of attacks on Nationalist across North Belfast. That culminated in that summer's Holy Cross Blockade and associated violence on a higher level than before the 1994 Loyalist Cessations. My own family and I were subjected to a number of gun attacks that January and February. The legacy from the blockade remains with us all in Greater Ardoyne with ongoing trouble associated with unwelcome marches by the sectarian Loyal Orders and bigoted Flute Bands demanding the right to trample over the rights of local residents.
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