“We’re here to give you your area back…”

There was an attempted punishment shooting in the Falls Road area of west Belfast last Thursday – 4 men and a 16 year old boy have been charged.  Yesterday an 18 year old was shot in both legs after he was abducted by four masked men, also in the Falls Road area.

Meanwhile the Irish News reported today that

More than 40 members of dissident republican group Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) are believed to have been involved in attacks in the troubled St James’s area of west belfast.

Cars were vandalised and two men assaulted when local people say masked and armed men “took over the area” for up to an hour on Tuesday night.

Sources also say several members of a teenage gang accused of antisocial behaviour have fled after being warned their lives are under threat by the group.  People in the area say that at least two of the men claiming to be from ONH were armed with handguns.

One woman, who did not wish to be named said she confronted the men.  She said that when she asked what they were doing bring[ing] guns into St James’s she was told: “We’re here to give you your area back.”

The Irish News report adds

A police spokesman said officers had received no reports about the incidents on Tuesday night.  Jim Auld from the group Community Restorative Justice said it was aware of the attacks by ONH.  He confirmed that it had been approached by one youth who had been told to leave the area by dissident republicans.

Jim Auld doesn’t say whether “different well-known people in the community” visited the youth – to “be seen going in and out of the house. Just showing community support.”

All of which reminded me of this recent post by Splintered Sunrise

For the moment we’ll take a short break from matters ecclesiastical in favour of more local subject matter, for the Andersonstown News has been hilarious lately. This specifically has to do with a little fraying at the edges of Gerry’s kingdom. Don’t get me wrong, the para-state of republican Belfast retains its one-party system by popular demand, but the Provos have been experiencing a few headaches recently, and smaller forces have begun to get a bit more assertive.

Read the whole thing.

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