‘Law of the jungle’ on Belfast streets as man murdered in republican district

The scene of the shooting
The scene of the shooting

Those behind a fatal shooting have been condemned for bringing “the law of the jungle” to the streets of Northern Ireland’s capital.

The victim was in his 50s and was thought to have been working as a hot food delivery driver.

The scene of the shooting

The scene of the shooting

It is the third shooting in a republican area of Belfast within just 24 hours.

Earlier in Monday two young men – one in his 20s, one 17 – were shot in the New Lodge district of north Belfast.

Neither of their injuries are thought to be life-threatening.

The latest shooting happened as the man was in a car on Lady Street, near the Grosvenor Road in the west of the city, at around 10.20pm on Monday.

A source at the scene said the man – who is said to have been shot previously – lost his life at the scene and was then transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

On Friday, a man had been shot in Distillery Court, also close to the Grosvenor Road.

On that occasion, the 28-year-old victim had been shot in the head, arm, chest and leg in an attack which is being treated as attempted murder.

Brian Kingston, a west Belfast DUP councillor, said: “These are appalling crimes, by murderous thugs who have no interest in law and order – only the law of the jungle.

“Society must clamp down on them. Police must target their resources to catch those responsible. And, as difficult as it is in communities where they are intimidating, people must pass on information to assist police to bring them to justice.”

He added that whilst those behind the bloodshed may be “masquerading” under the auspices of a paramilitary group, “their only loyalty is to themselves – they’re just trying to intimidate and instil fear”.

Only one day before, the UUP’s Tom Elliott had told the News Letter that a major deciding factor in whether or not his party is prepared to enter government with Sinn Fein will be the current security situation, including whether it is believes that “mainstream republicans” are aiding dissidents who are engaged in ongoing violence.

The SDLP’s Alex Attwood, MLA for West Belfast, said: “We must demonstrate the same resolve we did in the past – resist those who carry out these atrocities, who use guns to reject Irish democracy and ignore the rule of law.”

Sinn Fein MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey said: “Tonight’s shooting of a man in west Belfast was totally wrong and I condemn it unreservedly. There can be no place in our society for such actions.”