Sunday 25 February 2018

Irish shooting victim was due to appear in court on drugs offences

Shooting was type of terror carried out by ISIS, says priest

George Jackson

A man critically wounded in what police have described as a barbaric shooting on Monday night was due to appear in court on drugs offences.

Defence barrister Mark Reel told Judge Philip Babington that the victim, 25-year-old Harry Boyle from Lawrence Hill, Derry City had yet to regain consciousness since he was shot in the leg outside house at Magowan Park shortly before 9pm on Monday.

The victim is alleged to have committed a number of Class A, B and C drugs offences in January, February and March of 2014.

Mr Reel told the court that the defendant's case had been listed for a mention on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately I have to apply to have the case adjourned and I also apply to adjourn the fixing of a date for a trial", he told Judge Babington.

"Those who would replace our system of justice with one based on terror, violence and fear have taken it upon themselves to shoot Mr Boyle who was shot last night.

"He has been transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and I do not believe he has regained consciousness. The nature of the charges he faced were not comparable to the violence meted out to him.

"This is not a matter in relation to a man who had sought anonymity because there was no specific threat in relation to him, but sadly it would seem to appear in this case that the individuals involved had not flagged up their intentions," he said.

Judge Babington said he was very sorry to hear that Mr Boyle had been shot because he was aware that "the issues in this case were very much reduced".

Meanwhile, a senior police officer in Derry described the shooting of Mr Boyle as an act of barbarity.

Superintendent Mark McEwan said while a number of lines of enquiry were continuing, the focus was very much on dissident republican involvement.

"These organisations seem to feel they have some sort of right to carry out or administer these type of attacks. It is utterly reprehensible to think that society would tolerate these brutal attacks.

"They have no right to carry out such acts of barbarity on members of our community. These organisations thrive on the fear they can create in the community. Victims and members of the public are at times reticent to come forward but I appeal for help from the community in bringing those responsible to justice", he said.

Fr Joseph Gormley, parish priest of St Mary's parish in the Creggan estate, said the shooting of Mr Boyle "is the type of terror carried out by the likes of ISIS. They have evil in their hearts and evil in their minds".

"I was there last night and I saw many people including young children at the scene. The people responsible must realise they are harming their own community," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

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