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Standing at spot where husband died in her arms Joanne McGibbon challenges dissident killers in new video

'The men who murdered my husband don't have support... everybody wants peace'

By David Young

The brave widow of a man murdered in a paramilitary shooting has returned to the scene of his death to launch an impassioned plea for peace in an emotionally charged video.

In a short film for the Belfast Telegraph, Joanne McGibbon sent a message of defiance to the dissident republicans who shot her husband Michael (33) dead in April in a north Belfast alleyway.

The popular Belfast cabbie was shot three times in the leg.

One of the bullets struck an artery in his thigh, and he bled to death in his wife’s arms.

Joanne McGibbon spoke out after mobile phone footage of emerged of three masked men brandishing a rocket propelled grenade launcher at the spot in Ardoyne where Michael died in her arms.

The grieving widow described how the footage had preyed on her mind.

“The video has brought back so many memories,” she said.

“My kids are suffering, I’m suffering, and I’m sure it’s bringing a whole lot of memories back to other people who have gone through the same situation.”

Following the lethal attack, nurse Joanne left her Ardoyne home in July amid fears for the safety of her family.

“It was hard coming back here ... But the reason I am here is because I still care about he community,” she said. 

“I want to see a change, and I know that most people do. We just have to work together to make the change.

“The people behind this video, they think they’re doing what’s right for the community — but if they could just look they’d see that the community are in total fear.”

And she told the terrorists: “There are kids behind me here; this is where they live: this is their environment, this is their community. You’re ruining it, you’re destroying their community.”

But as Joanne and her still-grieving family face their first Christmas without their loving husband and father, she “I know the people of Ardoyne want peace — and the men who killed Michael don’t have the support of most people living there.”

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