Michael McGibbon murder: Other ‘punishment shootings' resulting in death or serious injury

Conor McKee (31) was shot in his parents' house in north Belfast in January

THE death of Michael McGibbon in a botched 'punishment' attack comes months after a similar shooting in the same area left another man dead.

In January, father-of-two Conor McKee (31) was blasted a number of times with a shotgun at his parents' Glenpark Street home.

At first it was thought Mr McKee, who was battling a heroin addiction, had been the victim of a knife attack but police later confirmed he had been shot three times.

Police are reportedly investigating the possibility the murder may have been a botched 'punishment' shooting, as the victim's wounds were all to the lower part of his body and a significant sum of money found in the house was not taken.

The latest fatalities are among several high-profile instances where paramilitary-style shootings, apparently designed to injure rather than kill, have resulted in death or serious injury.

Among the most notorious of such `punishment shooting' deaths was that of Andrew Kearney in 1998, who was shot after a row with a senior republican.

The 33-year-old bled to death after his attackers ripped out the telephone from his New Lodge flat and jammed the lift door where he lay.

Two Craigavon men Raymond Gerard Paul Heaney and Hugh Francis McGeough were jailed for carrying out what a court heard was 'a punishment shooting gone wrong' in 2001.

Peter McNally (19) was shot dead as he slept in a chair the living room of a house on Craigavon's Westacres estate in the Co Armagh town.

He was shot in the head as well as twice in the leg, but the prosecution accepted their pleas of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm because it could not be proved which of them fired the fatal shots into the victim's head.

In 1997 Presbyterian minister David Templeton became the first clergyman to be killed by paramilitaries, dying from injuries sustained in a so-called punishment shooting by the UVF six weeks earlier after he was falsely accused of being a paedophile.

It is understood Mr Templeton identified UVF informer Mark Haddock as one of his attackers.

There has been concern in recent years that dissident republicans are leaving victims of such attacks permanently maimed and with devastating injuries because gunmen are using shotguns rather than handguns.

A 35-year-old man shot in a paramilitary-style attack by dissident republicans in Twinbrook lost his leg through his injuries.

In 2006, west Belfast teenager Conor Weldon had his lower leg amputated after being shot at close range with a shotgun. The attack was claimed by a faction of the Continuity IRA.

In November 2010, convicted sex offender Darren Murdoch (27) was shot in the groin at close range by dissident republican group Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH).

Murdoch, who had a conviction for rape, was shot seven times by masked men who broke into a house where he was staying in Ardoyne, north Belfast.

Although surgeons managed to save his severely damaged leg, they were unable to save all of his genitals.

The group behind the attack in a statement warned there would be further similar attacks and claimed it was "a punishment befitting of the crime".


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