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INLA blamed for Belfast murder bid

By Deborah McAleese

Members of republican splinter group the INLA are being blamed for the attempted murder of a 26-year-old man in north Belfast following a row with a leading member of the organisation.



The victim, named locally as Donal Meehan, was in a stable condition in hospital last night after being shot in the upper part of his body at his home in the Oldpark area of the city.

Republican and local sources have indicated that the INLA carried out the attack after Mr Meehan got into a row with one of its top members.

The shooting comes just months after the terror group said it had decommissioned its weapons.

If it emerges that members of the INLA were behind the shooting it will bring more scrutiny to the decomissioning process, which is already under question following the UVF murder of loyalist Bobby Moffett.

Police have confirmed that they are treating the attack on Mr Meehan as attempted murder.

He was shot on Thursday night when he answered the door to three men and was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in a critical condition. Last night his condition was described as stable.

Republican sources and sources within the area have said the attack had not come as a surprise.

“He rubbed someone up the wrong way. Everyone knew trouble was brewing after they got into a row. This was about settling a score,” one source said.

Sinn Fein councillor for the area Danny Lavery said: “We thought this kind of thing was all over. It is about time everybody got rid of their guns.”

The PSNI said a motive for the shooting is still being investigated and appealed for anyone with information to contact them.





The INLA is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of more than 100 people during the Troubles. It killed Conservative MP Airey Neave in 1979. In February it announced it had decommissioned its weapons. It said it had disposed of its illegal arsenal in recent weeks through the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD).

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