Belfast Telegraph

Help police officers catch killers, urges Arlene Foster

By David Young, PA

Northern Ireland's First Minister has called on communities to help rid the province of the evil of paramilitaries who use violence to mete out their own so-called justice.

Arlene Foster stressed the need for information in the wake of the murder of father-of-four Michael McGibbon in north Belfast.

Taxi driver Mr McGibbon (33) was shot three times in the legs in an alleyway in the Ardoyne area on Friday night - 24 hours after two men came to his house to threaten him.

His wife Joanne, a nurse, tried to save him before he was taken to the city's Royal Victoria Hospital, where he later died after undergoing surgery.

A 34-year-old man arrested on Sunday in connection with the murder was released unconditionally last night.

Mrs Foster's appeal came as another man was targeted in a paramilitary-style attack in Londonderry last night.

It is understood he was shot in both legs in McGowan Park in the Creggan estate at around 9pm. A spokesman for the Ambulance Service said he was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital for treatment but his condition was not clear.

Mrs Foster condemned Mr McGibbon's killers and insisted people in Ardoyne held the key to securing justice for his family.

"It is really shocking to hear of such a murder, and indeed the style in which it happened," she said.

"My deepest sympathy goes to the McGibbon family. The community in and around north Belfast hold the answers for the police in this matter.

"I would appeal to them to work with the Police Service of Northern Ireland to bring these people to justice."

She added: "This is a terrible tragedy. Of course Northern Ireland is in a much better place now than it was many years ago but we still have to deal with this evil that is on our streets and I give my full support to the PSNI in order to do that."

The DUP leader said last year's Fresh Start political agreement at Stormont contained "actions and strategies" to tackle paramilitarism.

"We will work very hard to stop these people on the ground, but we need the help of the communities where these actions take place to bring this to an end, so I really do call upon the people of north Belfast to come forward with information."

Mrs Foster later issued a joint statement with Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Stormont's leaders said: "The perpetrators of this attack have shown complete contempt for the local community and are trying to bring intimidation and fear on to the streets of north Belfast."

Belfast Telegraph


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