Man shot and machete brandished as community festival takes place

The scene at Ardoyne avenue after''a man was shot and two others injured in a suspected machete attack in Belfast on Saturday night.' Photo: Press Eye: Declan Roughan
The scene at Ardoyne avenue after''a man was shot and two others injured in a suspected machete attack in Belfast on Saturday night.' Photo: Press Eye: Declan Roughan

A man has been shot in north Belfast, whilst a community festival was taking place in the neighbourhood.

Police received a report of the shooting in the Ardoyne Avenue area, part of the heavily republican-dominated Ardoyne district of the city.

just after 10.15pm on Saturday.

A man waving a machete was spotted several streets away soon afterwards.

A man in his 30s was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to his calf, and a bruised face.

The Facebook page for the Ardoyne & Marrowbone Community Festival – which began on Wednesday, August 15, and ends today – said the closing event this evening (featuring Irish traditional folk band The Fureys) is set to go ahead.

The timings for the festival show that the report of the shooting came through to police at about the same time DJ Paddy Gormley was set to be playing at Holy Cross Boys’ School pitch.

In a statement from the police, Detective Sergeant Danielle Moffett said: “The circumstances of this incident are particularly concerning as it took place at the same time as a local community event.

“This was a brutal attack and yet another example of how criminal groups seek to control communities through fear and violence.

“Shortly after this, at around 10.40pm, an agitated male was seen in the Ardoyne road area, wielding a machete.

“He was described as being dark-haired, wearing a white tee-shirt and dark bottoms and swinging the weapon around him.

“It was reported that two males disarmed him before then becoming involved in an altercation with him.

“We believe a male and a female may have received minor injuries during the incident.

“If anyone witnessed either of these incidents or has any information that could be useful to our investigation into them, they should phone detectives at Musgrave on 101, quoting reference number 1619 of 25/8/18.”

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The fesival organisers themselves said: “The festival committee are disgusted and disappointed that a small amount of individuals set out to cause disruption last night following day 10 of positive events and community celebrations.

“Those involved in these incidents do not represent anyone, and must be held accountable for their actions.

“The festival committee is made up of local community activists giving up their time to promote what’s positive in North Belfast, encourage community relations and to provide opportunities.

“With another successful year of ArdBoneFest we are delighted with the response to our events, however following last evenings display of negative actions we will be reviewing how some events are delivered in the future.

“To the many hundreds of families, children, young people, and local seniors who made the effort to take part in all the events we would like to thank you for your contribution in helping to promote positivity within Ardoyne & Marrowbone.

“To those who think that it’s ok to use guns or any weapons, you are not welcome.”