Explosive devices thrown at ex-Sinn Fein leader’s home

Explosive devices thrown at ex-Sinn Fein leader’s home

A week of rioting and violence across Northern Ireland culminated in explosive devices being thrown at the Belfast homes of prominent Sinn Fein activists, including the party's former leader Gerry Adams.

The former leader of Sinn Féin, Mr Adams, said no-one was hurt in the attacks.

Mr Adams was speaking as he confirmed that two of his grandchildren had been in his garden just minutes before the attack took place.

"I would appeal for calm. These attacks are the desperate acts of increasingly desperate and irrelevant groups", he said.

The 1998 deal helped end decades of violence between those in favor of uniting Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland and those in favor of Northern Ireland remaining within the United Kingdom.

The home of the republican Bobby Storey, who previously served as the party's chairman in Northern Ireland, was also targeted.

Northern Ireland's police said officers seized "remnants of large industrial, firework-type devices, capable of causing serious damage or injury" at two houses in west Belfast.

During a press conference held outside his Belfast home on Saturday, Adams called for those responsible to have the "gumption and guts" to meet him and explain their actions.

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"Explain to me what this is about".

"I'd like those who are involved in exploiting children in Derry to do the same thing, or those who are poisoning the atmosphere in east Belfast and causing havoc to do the same thing".

In a tweet, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wrote: "I unequivocally condemn the violence in Derry and Belfast last night".

Dissident nationalist groups who oppose the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that Adams helped broker have been involved in the fighting.

Sinn Fein dismisses the dissidents as unrepresentative gangs with no political strategy that use the cloak of republicanism to engage in criminality.

The attacks follows nights of violence in Northern Ireland which the police have blamed on the "New IRA" in Londonderry.

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long MLA said it seemed "some people are determined to drag us back into violence at whatever cost".

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