Barbaric shooting reflects “warped version of the past”

November 11, 2013

The motive behind an apparent paramilitary-style shooting close to Cullyhanna on Tuesday evening is shrouded in mystery, although an investigation into the attack is continuing, police have said.

The victim, a man aged in his late forties, is recovering after he was shot in both legs by a number of men who forced their way into his Drummond Road home in Drumlougher, close to the Monaghan border.

The incident occurred around 7.20pm when the masked intruders attacked the man, hitting him on the head with a hammer, before opening fire with a handgun, wounding him in both knees.

A number of family members who were in the house at the time were uninjured but left severely traumatised.

The victim was taken by ambulance to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry before being transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for specialist treatment.

The motive for the attack remains unclear although it has been suggested in some media circles that dissident republicans may have been involved.

The ruthless attack has shocked and alarmed the tight-knit rural community and prompted local politicians to unite in condemnation.

Sinn Fein’s Colman Burns said he unreservedly condemned those responsible: “Those responsible for this attack must outline their rationale for doing this and what they hoped to achieve.  The community in south Armagh is appalled at this incident and I would urge anyone with information to present it to the authorities.”

SDLP councillor Geraldine Donnelly said she is horrified at the attack and wished the victim a speedy recovery.

“I can’t believe there are still guns out there and people are prepared to use them. People are shocked and appalled. Nobody wants to hear this news.  The entire community will reject this violent attack and I would urge anyone with information to come forward to the authorities so that those responsible can be brought to justice,” she said.

Her party colleague, Dominic Bradley MLA, described the shooting as “barbaric”.

“I want to condemn this attack outright, no-one can justify these types of attacks whatever their misguided motives.  These kind of so called ‘punishment styled’ attacks were wrong in the past and are wrong today,” he said.

‘The community of Cullyhanna and south Armagh is abhorred by this attack.  We had all thought these kinds of attacks were confined to history.  I would appeal for those responsible to stop, to stop living in some warped version of the past and would appeal to the local community or anybody who knows anything about this attack to come forward to the authorities to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Police enquiries are ongoing and detectives have appealed to anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area to contact them.