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Widow and her daughter mystified by murder bid

By Rebecca Black

Published 12/08/2015

Mary McQuillan is comforted by her daughter Mary after a shot was fired through the window of their Belfast home
Mary McQuillan is comforted by her daughter Mary after a shot was fired through the window of their Belfast home
The scene at Rodney Drive in West Belfast after a shot was fired through the window of the property from a passing car

A widow whose home was shot at has demanded to know why she was targeted.

Mary McQuillan (64) and her daughter Mary (29) had a lucky escape in the early hours of yesterday when a gunman fired at their living room window just minutes after they had gone to bed.

The incident on Rodney Drive in west Belfast took place at around 1.40am on Tuesday.

A silver car was seen on the street at the time.

The projectile pierced a five-inch hole through the double-glazed window and ricocheted through the lower floor of the terraced house, causing damage to the living room and even the kitchen at the back of the home.

Mrs McQuillan said it was a miracle neither she or her daughter were killed, and that one of them was not planning the other's funeral.

A next door neighbour told of seeing a silver car without headlights on driving up the street and disappearing before returning and stopping outside the McQuillan home and firing through the window.

Mrs McQuillan had gone to bed earlier, but had been up to use the bathroom and considered sitting up for a while.

Just minutes later her living room was sprayed with glass from the gunshot.

"I thought about staying down to watch TV but I went up to bed. Then Mary went up and five minutes later there was such a thud," she said.

The sound brought their neighbours, who noticed that the McQuillan house had been hit.

"That's when we went into panic mode," she added. "A neighbour called at the door to make sure we were okay and then everyone was out, reassuring us and on the phone to police. Then all the family came over and police arrived. They said they would treat it as attempted murder because we were in the house; they said it was a shotgun, but nothing has been confirmed."

Mrs McQuillan said she wanted to know why her house was targeted. "Why should we hide our faces when we didn't do anything," she said.

"They have got the wrong house, they definitely have. I'd love to know the reason why. Why here?"

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