Belfast Telegraph

Children frolic close to a pool of blood after father is shot 'by appointment' in Derry playground

By Donna Deeney

A father of two young children was left lying in a pool of his own blood in a play park after being told to go there to be "shot by appointment".

Parents bringing their children to play in the park at Rossdowney in the Waterside area of Londonderry yesterday morning had to walk past the bloodstained spot where the 32-year-old resident from the nearby loyalist stronghold of Lincoln Courts was shot in both legs shortly after 11.30pm on Tuesday.

It is believed loyalist paramilitaries were behind the attack on the man, who is recovering from his injuries after emergency surgery.

It's believed to be the first such "shooting by appointment" in the Waterside carried out by loyalists.

Foyle MLA William Hay said the attack mirrored the methods of the Republican Action Against Drugs vigilante group on the city side of Derry.

RAAD has carried out numerous attacks on alleged drug dealers and people accused of anti-social behaviour over the past number of years and murdered one man in Co Donegal after he fled the city.

Andrew Allen, a father-of-two, was shot through a window at his home in Buncrana in front of his partner.

There have even been incidents in Derry where parents have accompanied their children to appointments with paramilitaries, where they were to be shot or otherwise 'punished'.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Hay slammed the actions of gunmen saying: "This is a very sinister development and is actually the fourth serious incident in the wider Lincoln Courts area in recent months, which is worrying.

"There is no place for guns in this society and no excuse for using them.

"This was particularly gruesome given that this man was told to present himself at the play park in Rossdowney, where he was then shot and lost a substantial amount of blood, so much so that where he lay was still covered in blood in the morning.

"This is a play park frequented by young families, especially so in this sunny weather, and it is disgraceful that children would have been exposed to evidence of gunmen in action in a place where they play. It almost mirrors what dissident republicans have been doing on the cityside, when young people are almost being ordered to come to a particular area where the shooting takes place," said the DUP Assembly Member.

"This is the first time that we've had an incident of this nature in the Waterside area."

PSNI Chief Inspector Jon Burrows was equally outraged by the shooting and called on the public to help police find and bring the culprits to court.

He said: "This was a barbaric attack on this man and while we are still waiting to carry out a comprehensive interview with him, I can say that there is no justification in the world for shooting anyone.

"This was completely unacceptable and someone within the community knows who carried out this gun attack, whether that is an individual or an organisation.

"We need the community to give information to us and it makes no difference to us the manner in which it comes to us whether it is directly or through a political representative or anonymously."

Belfast Telegraph


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