Belfast Telegraph

Victim's anger as dissidents admit he was 'shot by mistake'

By Donna Deeney

Dissident republican groups in Londonderry have confirmed a 44-year-old man shot in both legs in an attack believed to have been mistaken identity was not under a threat.

Anthony Moran remains in Altnagelvin Hospital, where he is being treated for the injuries he sustained to his knees after three masked men burst into a house in Galliagh Park in Derry, where he was visiting a friend.

It is understood that the man Mr Moran was visiting was the intended target.

However, a group that mediates between people under threat and dissident republicans said it hasn't been able to establish which organisation carried out the shooting.

While Mr Moran is expected to make a good recovery, he will be in a wheelchair for at least six weeks.

In a bid to clear his name, Mr Moran spoke out against his attackers and challenged them to say why he was targeted.

He told the Derry News he was shot for no reason whatsoever.

He said: "These people think they can go around and shoot people for no reason.

"In this case I think I was shot simply because these men had gone out that night to shoot someone, and when they didn't get their intended target they went for an easy target, which was me.

"I have never been in trouble with the police or any of the republican groups or received any kind of warning.

"They probably don't even know who I am."

Mr Moran and his father contacted the Rosemount Resource Centre (RRC), a well-established mediation organisation that works with dissident republican groups in Derry.

Tommy McCourt from RRC said all of the dissident organisations he is in contact with denied the shooting.

He said: "I met with Mr Moran and relayed what he told me to all of the organisations. But all that we have contacted are denying being involved in this attack, every one of them.

"There is a possibility that at least a faction from one of these groups or someone decided to act alone. There does seem to be a general acceptance that Mr Moran should not have been shot. He was not a target."

It is understood the man Mr Moran was visiting had already been warned that he was under threat from dissident republicans.

Mr McCourt added: "The organisations I spoke to told me there was a threat over the other boy in the house with Mr Moran and the threat had been ongoing for a long time. It was only a matter of time before someone actually decided to go looking for him.

"Having said that, no one has come to us over the past few weeks with an increased threat against that individual, which is what would happen before an attack like this takes place.

"What all of the groups are saying is that, while the attack was inevitable, how or why things went the way they did, only the men who went into that house can answer that.

"What I am being told by all of the groups I spoke to is that whoever went into that house went in for the other boy, and not Mr Moran.

"No one has any issue with Mr Moran.

"All of the groups are saying it was a mistake to shoot Mr Moran, but none of them will admit they made the mistake.

"That's as much information as I have right now."

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