Widow Joanne McGibbon to leave Belfast after paramilitary murder of husband

 The widow of Michael McGibbon, Joanne, has said she and her children are going to start a fresh life outside Belfast
John Monaghan

THE widow of Michael McGibbon, who was killed by dissident republicans in a paramilitary shooting last month, has told of plans to leave Belfast.

Joanne McGibbon said that she is "frightened" and fears meeting her husband's killers.

The 33 year-old died despite frantic efforts by his wife after being shot twice in the leg in Butler Place on April 15.

"I can’t stay here, there are too many memories and I don’t know who is round the corner," she said.

"The Housing Executive is trying to get us a house outside of the city. I just hope it is soon and we can leave here and start again. We are frightened here and we can’t stay," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

Mrs McGibbon, a nurse, told how she battled to save her husband who was shot twice before he was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital where he later died.

Although thanking the local community in north Belfast for their support in recent weeks, the widow feels her only option is to leave the area.

She revealed her 17-year-old daughter Seana carries an alarm with her every time she goes out, while Shea (8), Michaela (6) and Corry-Leigh (4) regularly break down about the loss of their father.

Mrs McGibbon said: "I would also like people to know that Michael was shot twice, not three times, once in the left ankle and once in the artery at the back of his knee. This wasn’t a punishment shooting, it was murder.

“I do believe that the bleeding couldn’t be stopped but I also question what took the police and ambulance 30 minutes to get to him? I work in the NHS and understand the pressure they’re under, but this was an emergency."

She added: "I referred to these criminals as animals, my mistake, that’s not fair on animals."


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