No justification for punishment-type shooting ‘whatever the reason’ says DUP man after victim shot in both legs in loyalist Ballybeen

Robin Newton MLA has condemned the shooting of a man in a loyalist-dominated housing estate on the eastern edge of Belfast.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 11:06 am
Loyalist Ballybeen

It happened last night at about 8.30pm in Kilberry Park, part of the giant Ballybeen housing estate.

Though the police have not described it as a so-called “punishment attack” it bears the hallmarks of one; the victim was struck in both legs, and the estate has a significant UDA, UVF, and Red Hand Commando presence.

The fact someone has fallen victim to such an attack is no indication of whether they are actually guilty of any wrongdoing; in recent years both republicans and loyalists have killed people with no known paramilitary ties or criminal history (Glenn Quinn in Carrickfergus, and Michael McGibbon in the Ardoyne, for instance).

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The details of last night’s victim were not released by police.

All that is known is that he was taken to hospital.

DUP man Mr Newton, a member of the Assembly’s justice committee, described the act as “scandalous and barbaric”.

“Whatever the reason for shooting a man in the legs, it cannot be justified,” he said.

He added that supposed “punishment attacks” are a “type of crude justice [which pose] a danger to the entire community and deserve no support”.

He ended by saying: “I appeal to the local people to support PSNI efforts on this matter by making use of the police 101 number.”

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