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Mother injured in punishment attack on her son

By Donna Deeney

Published 17/05/2016

Councillor John Boyle has condemned recent shootings
Councillor John Boyle has condemned recent shootings

The mother of a man shot by paramilitaries suffered a broken arm as she tried to stop them carrying out a so-called punishment attack.

The man in his 30s was shot twice in the ankles at his mother's home in the Ballymagroarty area of Londonderry in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital for treatment for his injuries, which are not thought to be life-threatening.

The man's mother was present at the time of the attack, and her arm was broken as she tried in vain to prevent the gunman getting to her son. This attack comes just four weeks after 25-year-old Harry Boyle was critically injured in a paramilitary attack outside his home in Creggan.

Doctors treating Mr Boyle, who had been due to appear in court on drug charges on the day he was attacked, feared the father-of-one would die from his injuries.

People living around the Yeats Court area where the attack took place were reluctant to speak about what happened.

But political representatives hit out at those behind the recent shootings in the city. SDLP councillor John Boyle said two shootings in such a short space of time harked back to dark days people thought were long gone.

He said: "Unfortunately this kind of activity was too familiar during the Troubles.

"It is never acceptable for the judicial system to be superseded. The rule of law must not be overtaken by the rule of the jungle.

"It is never acceptable for masked gunmen to come onto the streets of Derry or Belfast or anywhere else."

People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann said the recent paramilitary attacks were only holding back the whole community.

He said: "Derry has some of the worst rates of poverty, anxiety and deprivation in the North.

"This is the root cause of many of the social problems afflicting families already under pressure. All experience shows that the cruelty of vigilante actions is equalled only by their futility.

"We need a revival of the community spirit that sustained working-class communities here throughout the Troubles.

"But masked men with guns who say 'Stand back, leave it to us' discourage any such development. They belittle the role of the people in dealing with their own problems."

PSNI Inspector Gregory Smith has appealed to anyone who has information about this incident to contact police at Strand Road on the non-emergency number 101, or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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