Northern Ireland news

Shots fired at home of former Voice of Ireland singer

Damage to Georgina Richmond's apartment on the upper Springfield Road. 

A former Voice of Ireland star’s home in west Belfast has been shot at.

Georgina Richmond said the gang responsible have also threatened to harm her while she is performing on stage.

Up to five shots were fired through a window of her Upper Springfield Road apartment early yesterday.

Hours earlier the attackers, thought to be dissident republicans, went to her parents’ home in nearby Dermott Hill and broke every downstairs window and door in the house. It was the latest in a series of attacks on the family home. A man dressed in a Santa suit fired 12 shots at the home of George Richmond and his wife Geraldine on December 20 – the second gun attack on the property since September.

Georgina Richmond reached the final stages of RTÉ’s Voice of Ireland in 2016 and has since forged a successful career as a Patsy Cline impersonator.

 Georgina Richmond

“We’re just an ordinary family. We don’t know what to do to make it stop. They have tried everything. You just don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Ms Richmond said from her damaged apartment.

The bullets went through glass patio doors in the third-floor apartment.

George Richmond said the December 20 gun attack forced him and his wife to leave their home of 30 years and spend Christmas with relatives.

It came after an altercation in the street between Mr Richmond’s son and a gang that included republicans.

Graffiti saying ‘Kill All Richmonds’ was also daubed on nearby walls.

'Stop before a life is lost'

The family has called on those responsible to stop before a life is lost.

Twelve shots were fired at the Dermott Hill home of George Richmond and his wife Geraldine on December 20, by a man holding two guns and dressed in a Santa suit.

It was the second gun attack on the family home since September.

Read more: Analysis - Lack of confidence in PSNI allows mob rule to thrive (premium)

George Richmond at his home in Dermott Hill that was shot at and damaged over the last few days.

On New Year's Eve attackers, thought to be dissident republicans, returned to the family's house shortly before 8pm, smashed a CCTV camera with a sledgehammer and broke every downstairs pane of glass, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to doors and windows.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning up to five shots were fired through a window of Mr Richmond's daughter, Georgina's apartment on the nearby Upper Springfield Road.

"We left before Christmas for our own safety, but I had been calling up every day just to see if the house was ok", said Mr Richmond.

"We hadn't even fixed the damaged caused by the shooting, now they've sledge hammered the front door in and smashed all the downstairs windows, there isn't a single, undamaged pane of glass left.

"With it being New Year's Day, it was impossible to get the insurance company or anyone else to help, it's heartbreaking but what can we do other than just board the windows up and leave.

"This has escalated since August, I think the fact we tried to stand up to them and not just leave our home, which is what they wanted, has angered them.

"We've also had no help from any politicians, despite this all being very public, no assistance at all.

"It was bad enough that they were targetting my house but to attack my daughter's house as well, they're going to kill someone if this isn't stopped", he added.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said shots were fired "at the front of an apartment in the Upper Springfield Road area" shortly after 1.50am yesterday.

Det Sergent Moffett said police were also investigating a possible link to criminal damage at a house in the Dermott Hill Parade area.

Police received a report on Tuesday "that windows at the property were smashed at around 8pm on Monday".

Read more: Analysis - Lack of confidence in PSNI allows mob rule to thrive (premium)

The Richmond family home in Dermott Hill Parade get's damaged again on New Years eve.

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