Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

‘Criminal vigilantes’ blamed for Keady shooting attack

A gun attack on a business premises in Keady on Friday evening has been described as a vigilante attack carried out to intimidate and incite fear, local politicians have claimed.

The incident occurred around 5.25pm on Friday evening at a vehicle mechanic business in the Annvale Road area.  Two men in a white Hyundai car entered the yard of the premises before one got out of the car and fired two shots at the building.  The vehicle then sped off and was found around 20 minutes later burnt out on the Dundrum Road, Tassagh.

No one was injured in the shooting, however employees of the business were left very badly shaken, police said.

Condemning what he called “the intimidation of employees”, the area’s MLA Cathal Boylan said: “This criminal vigilante behaviour has no place in our society. Residents in Keady will not tolerate violent intimidation and the appalling actions of this armed gang.”

SDLP Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon said the owners are a very well respected local family who are distraught and disgusted at the attack.

“They, their staff or customers could have been seriously hurt or even killed.  This community is stunned at this reckless attack and it must be condemned outright,” he said.

“Whoever is behind this attack and whatever their misguided intentions are, they cannot be justified.  We thought the days of guns on our streets were over, so too is any form of kangaroo justice.  No one should take the law into their own hands.”

Detective Sergeant Peter Stewart has appealed to anyone who may have seen the white Hyundai acting suspiciously in the Annvale Road/Granemore Road areas of Keady or the Dundrum Road area of Tassagh or anyone who may have seen any vehicles parked in the vicinity of the Pumping House on the Dundrum Road between 2.00pm and 5.45pm on Friday to contact detectives at Newry on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference numbers 947 and 1011 21/07/17.

Alternatively, information can be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.