Belfast crossbow bolt victim feared he would end up dead like his father
A man beaten by a criminal gang at the contentious New Lodge bonfire in north Belfast has said he thought he was about to be murdered like his father was.
Gary Devlin was shot with a crossbow bolt, then beaten by four males as he lay on North Queen Street.
Although bloodied and dazed, he managed to regain his senses and escape.
The 27-year-old had gone to north Belfast to visit his mother and his girlfriend.
In 2006 Gary's father Gerard Devlin was stabbed to death during a brutal gang attack in west Belfast.
Five men from the same family were jailed over the killing.
After being attacked himself, Gary told friends he feared Thursday night's anti-internment bonfire assault could have ended the same way.
"Gary was shot with a crossbow bolt in the hand, then jumped by a gang - he couldn't help but think that he could be killed like his Da," a pal told Sunday Life.
"They attacked him after he tried to help another, older man who they were beating. They used the crossbow bolt to try and stab Gary after he pulled it out of his hand."
"They're scum," the pal added.
Video footage of the assault has gone viral, with Gary branding his attackers "cowards".