'UDA shot teenager in both arms and legs'

SDLP MLA John Dallat has said he believes the UDA were responsible for shooting a teenager in Ballymoney. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
John Monaghan

LOYALIST paramilitaries have been blamed for brutal gun attack on a teenager who was both in both arms and legs in Co Antrim.

The 18 year-old was targeted at a house in the Moneycannon Road in Ballymoney at around 3.30am yesterday.

PSNI Inspector Vince Redmond described the shooting as an attack on a young man in his home by "dangerous and violent individuals".

The teenager is being treated in hospital for injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening.

SDLP East Derry MLA John Dallat said he believed the shooting is the "handiwork of the UDA who are operating in open defiance of law and order".

"I am also convinced this is the same gang that murdered Brian McIlhagga more than three years ago in the same town and they will go on acting as judge and jury against anyone who they don’t like," he said.

"Anyone who doesn’t show due reverence to them is fair game," he said.

"It has to stop and the Secretary of State and others need to wake up to the fact that there are illegal guns stashed here and there and readily available to mutilate even more limbs."

Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan said the attack "was quite clearly carried out by loyalist paramilitaries".

"In fact this is just the latest of many attacks, resulting in death and serious injuries, close to Ballymoney, carried out by loyalists.

"There needs to be firm action by the PSNI to halt these attacks and bring those responsible to justice."

Ulster Unionist councillor Darryl Wilson said: "It's a very quiet, rural country area. It was a particularly brutal attack and we've seen a number of attacks in the Ballymoney area in last few years.

"I think it's about time we had a serious look as to why these attacks are happening and what we can do to prevent further attacks," he added.

North Antrim TUV MLA Jim Allister also condemned the attack.

"What we saw in Sunday's vicious attack in Ballymoney was the real and brutal face of paramilitarism," he said.

"Paramilitaries who think and act above the law must be brought to book for such excesses.

"There should be no room in our society for self-appointed enforcers and their weapons of death and destruction."

Alliance East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson also hit out at the shooting and said it was a "scourge on our society must be addressed".

He appealed for anyone with information to contact officers on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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