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Shooting victims 'had failed to turn up to be shot' - The Irish News
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Shooting victims 'had failed to turn up to be shot'

Police at the scene of the double shooting at the Grosvenor Homing Pigeon Club in west Belfast, where two men were shot in the legs. Picture by Cliff Donaldson.

TWO men injured in a shooting at a west Belfast social club were to be shot 'by prior arrangement' but failed to turn up for the planned paramilitary-style shooting.

The pair, named locally as Martin McDonald of St James' Road and Sean Maguire from the Springfield Road area of west Belfast, were shot at the Grosvenor Homing Pigeon Club in Iveagh Street off the Falls Road at around 4pm yesterday.

Both were singled out and ordered to the ground before being shot in the legs in front of a bar maid and a number of customers.

Police sealed off the area shortly after the attack as forensic officers attended the scene. Both men have been taken to hospital where their condition is described as stable.

It is understood that the injured men - both in their 20s - had been warned they were under threat from dissident republicans in the past.

Sources have said that both men had been ordered by dissident republicans to meet at an arranged time, in an area nearby to be shot, but failed to turn up.

Sinn Féin councillor Ciaran Beattie condemned the shooting describing it as "absolutely reckless to go into a public bar in a busy area of west Belfast in the middle of the afternoon and shoot people".

"Those responsible showed a complete disregard for the community by their actions and this incident could have been even worse.

"There can be no place for guns in our society and these type of shootings need to stop immediately."

SDLP MLA Alex Attwood said: "This is the third time in two weeks that guns have been used on the streets of west Belfast. Every attack is unjustified and the response to each and every attack must be unambiguous. People must provide information to the police.

"The community should now acknowledge what the few are attempting to achieve, those who use the gun seek to impose their will on the vast majority who are democratic.

"The response of the community must be as it was in past decades, a resolve to resist those who deny human rights, use the gun, oppose Irish democracy and undermine the rule of law", said the West Belfast assembly member.

PSNI detective Inspector Nigel Snoddy appealed to anyone who was in the area at the time and who has any information to contact detectives.

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