Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Son of 'trick or treat' Greysteel killer fights for his life

By John Toner

The son of “trick or treat” loyalist killer Stephen Irwin is fighting for his life after being shot in a republican area of north Belfast yesterday.

Richard ‘Ricky’ Mailey (24) was shot in the abdomen in the early hours of Saturday in the New Lodge Road area of the city.

His father, Stephen Irwin, was convicted for his part in the UDA’s Greysteel pub massacre in October 1993 — which took place just two months before his son’s birth.

A relative of Richard Mailey said yesterday she is sickened by the shooting and the effect it was having on the family.

She posted on Facebook: “Feel f****** sick, see if your ever gonna intentionally hurt someone, take a while & think of the surrounding family that has to get that call.

“Nobody can justify this, this world is f****d.”

In response to messages of support and concern for Richard, she revealed he was on a life support machine and they were waiting for him to wake up.

The shooting followed public disorder in the New Lodge area on Friday during which police were attacked by members of the public — but it is not clear if there is any connection between the incidents.

Republican sources in the New Lodge said they were “mystified” by the shooting of Mr Mailey and believe it is not linked to any paramilitary group.

Sinn Fein Councillor JJ Magee said: “The people of the New Lodge are concerned that trouble has spilled over into the streets and caused disturbance to local businesses and homes.

“There can be no place for guns on our streets. Details of that attack are still emerging, but I wish the man injured a speedy recovery and clearly this incident could have had even more disastrous consequences.

“I am calling on anyone with information on either of these attacks to bring it forward to the PSNI.”

There has been local speculation that father-of-one Mailey may have been accidentally shot. Last night the PSNI refused to comment on the speculation.

Police officers responding to a report of a shot being fired, found Mr Mailey lying in the street bleeding from a gunshot wound in his abdomen and suffering facial injuries.

Detective Sergeant Corrigan of the PSNI said: “When we arrived at the scene, we found that a man in his 20s had sustained a gun-shot wound to the abdomen and had facial injuries.  He was treated at the scene by Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and transferred to hospital.

“We are currently working to establish the exact circumstances of this incident and would appeal to anyone who was in this area, around 1.30am and saw what happened, to get in touch with us on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 94 of 15/9/18. The man is currently being treated in hospital for his injuries. His condition is described as critical but stable.”

Mailey’s father Stephen Irwin was given eight life sentences for his part in the 1993 massacre at the Rising Sun Bar in Greysteel.

One gunman shouted “trick or treat” before opening fire on a Halloween party, killing eight people — six Catholics and two Protestants — and wounding 19. The victims were aged between 19 and 81. Irwin was convicted alongside fellow loyalists Torrens Knight, Jeffrey Deeney and Brian McNeill for the massacre. He was given early release from prison in 2000 under the Good Friday Agreement but was back behind bars in 2005 after being convicted of knifing a football fan at the 2004 Irish Cup Final.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph