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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 26 May, 2020

Boy 'traumatised' after father shot in both ankles in front of him during west Belfast attack

The paramilitary-style attack occurred shortly after 10.30pm when three masked men forced their way into the home.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland are appealing for witnesses after a man in his 40s was shot in both ankles in front of his young son in west Belfast last night. 

The paramilitary-style attack occurred shortly after 10.30pm when three masked men forced their way into the home. 

After the shooting, the man’s son ran to his neighbour’s house to raise the alarm and police subsequently attended the scene. 

The man was transferred to hospital where he remains to undergo surgery.

PSNI Detective Inspector Kerry Brennan said the young boy was placed in a “reprehensible situation” and has been left “traumatised by the vicious and merciless actions of these thugs who hide behind masks”. 

“This is nothing short of emotional and psychological abuse of a child,” Brennan said.  

Those who are involved in these attacks do not represent the interests of this community, nor do they contribute anything to it. They do it to try and exert influence, or gain control of those they claim to represent.

Police are working to establish a motive for this “horrific attack” and are appealing to anyone with any information to come forward and contact the PSNI.

Local SDLP councillor Brian Heading said last night’s shooting was a violation of the desire of people in west Belfast to live in peace. 

“The group carrying out these actions are attempting to control a community through violence or the threat of violence. It did not work in the past and it will not work now,” he said. 

This was a particularly ruthless attack without any reason. Words of condemnation are not enough – political and community leaders need to voice their opposition to those carrying out these actions.

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Adam Daly

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