THE mother of an 18-year-old man who was shot in north Belfast, leaving him with a catalogue of horrific injuries said those responsible need to be "locked up or put down".
Margaret McAleenan, the mother of Padraig 'Doot' McAleenan, said she was "disgusted" by what had happened her son, who was shot three times in the upper leg at the entrance to the Flax Centre in Ardoyne on Tuesday night.
She said she believed her son was shot by dissident republicans and that he had received two death threats over anti-social behaviour.
She said her son had been in theatre for 10 hours.
"It damaged his pelvis," she said.
"He has a hole in his bladder where the bullet lodged. His stomach was ripped and he's been shot in the leg."
The mother said she was "disgusted" by the shooting.
When asked if she knew why he had been targeted, she said: "He's done a lot of fighting with people about here and they're trying to say it's to do with drugs and do this and do that."
"He might smoke blow [cannabis] and he might take tablets but he doesn't sell drugs. He's a user, not a dealer.
"If he sold drugs I wouldn't have had to buy him his Christmas clothes. He would have plenty of money in his pocket and would be buying me."
Mrs McAleenan said her son had been in trouble "loads of times".
"He's no saint, far far from it, but it doesn't give anyone the right to take a gun to him. The courts dealt with him before and let the courts deal with him if he's doing anything now."
She had he had been in trouble for theft, disorderly behaviour, criminal damage and rioting.
"He's only an 18-year-old wee lad that has problems but them problems can't be solved by them taking a gun to him," she said.
"They wouldn't take a gun to their own child.
"They don't like him because he stands up to them. He faces them. He does have a cannabis problem... that's what they're on about."
The woman said she was "trying to move out" of the area.
She also revealed that her son was "beat with hammers a lot of weeks ago" and had served a 33-month jail term for rioting linked to July 12 demonstrations.
"The 33-months was for the rioting which these people called him to do and then they have a cheek and go and lift a gun and shoot him," she said.
"He's only an 18-year-old child that has problems and he hasn't grew up and he doesn't get the chance to grow up because there's too many people around the area on his back.
"People like that need locked up or put down. They're just rats. Nobody seems to want to stop these people with their guns. So much for their ceasefire when they're shooting their own people." ■ DISGUSTED: Screengrabs from UTV showing Margaret McAleenan and her son Padraig, above