That is the question that jumps out from this Irish News report (a similar story ran in The News Letter) to the effect that someone suspected of having thrown a large firework at the homes of then SF President Gerry Adams, and his consiglieri, ‘Big’ Bobby Storey last July, was the victim of a punishment shooting last Sunday.
The reports say that the victim had been questioned by the PSNI about the firework attack, which damaged the windscreen of a car parked in the drive of Adams’ Norfolk Drive home, off the Glen Road.
The gunman who shot him then fired a bullet through the window of the Sinn Fein centre on the Andersonstown Road, opposite the scene of the alleged miscreant’s punishment.
Why on earth did he (presumably a he) do that? Could it have been a ploy to throw people off the scent of the real culprit, i.e. a member of the non-existent Provisional IRA? Surely not. I mean everyone knows that the Provos would never take a shot at their own, would they? Even at an empty constituency office at nighttime…..
Especially since everyone from MI5 downwards swears on piles of Bibles that the Provos have gone away and gave up all their guns ages ago.
They would never lie like that, would they?
By the way notice how The Irish Newsis very keen to distance the shooting from the fireworks incident with this statement: ‘There is no suggestion the shooting is in any way linked to the attacks on the senior republicans.’ But then links the shooting to the fireworks attack in the headline: ‘Shot Man quizzed over Gerry Adams attack’.
The victim, in his thirties, was shot in the leg in the Norglen Road/Monagh Crescent area of Turf Lodge at around 11.30pm on Sunday.
It emerged on Monday that a shot was also fired through a window in a nearby Sinn Féin office around the same time.
The man was later taken to hospital with injuries police have said are “potentially life changing”.
He was one of two men arrested after commercial fireworks were thrown at the homes of former Sinn Féin president Mr Adams and of party colleague Bobby Storeyin July. He was later released without charge.
A bullethole in a window at the Sinn Féin office in Turf Lodge near the scene of the paramilitary-style attack. Picture by Mal McCannThere is no suggestion the shooting is in any way linked to the attacks on the senior republicans.
Forensic teams combed the area yesterday and appeared to recover an empty bullet casing from the scene.
Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan confirmed his office was targeted.
“The people who carried out this attack have left a man with potentially life-changing injuries,” he said.
“They then recklessly fired a shot across the road and through the window of my constituency office, endangering anyone who may have been in the vicinity.”
“That is an attack on the democratically expressed wishes of the people of his area. Sinn Féin will not be deterred by this mindless attack from providing services to the people of Turf Lodge and west Belfast by the thugs who carried out this attack.”
A forensic officer places a suspected bullet casing into an evidence bag at the scene of the paramilitary-style shooting. Picture by Mal McCannDuring the attack on the west Belfast home of Mr Adams a large firework is believed to have been launched from a passing vehicle, causing damage to a car parked in the driveway. Mr Storey’s home was attacked a short time later, causing minor damage. It is believed the attacks were carried out by members of a vigilante group based in west Belfast. Several hundred people later attended a rally in the west of the city in support of the two republicans.
SDLP councillor Tim Attwood condemned the shooting saying: “Paramilitary-style attacks have no place in our society and must stop immediately.”
“Those taking the law into their own hands must themselves be brought to justice.
“People in west Belfast have the right to live free from this type of vigilantism that does nothing to right wrongs but merely causes more irreparable damage to our community.”
A police spokesman said: “We are treating this brutal shooting as a paramilitary-style attack.
“This incident is another example of how criminal groups seek to control communities through fear and violence.”
This article first appeared on ‘The Broken Elbow’.