Northern Ireland

Three jailed over 'savage group attack' in west Belfast linked to Arm na Poblachta

A 'Join ANP' stencil which was uncovered by the PSNI
A 'Join ANP' stencil which was uncovered by the PSNI

THREE men have been jailed over a "vicious attack" in west Belfast five years ago which police believe is linked to dissident republican group Arm Na Poblachta.

Sean Megaw (34) from Altan Drive, Mark McGrann (39) from Old Colin and Ciaran Fryers (40) from Lagmore Avenue, all Dunmurry, were sentenced at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, it has emerged.

Both Megaw and McGrann, who had pleaded guilty to attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, will serve two years and three months.

Fryers, who had pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, will serve half of a 27-month sentence.

A 46-year-old man will be sentenced at a later date.

The paramilitary-style attack happened in the Norglen Gardens area of west Belfast on September 28 2018 when a 54-year-old man was targeted after being forced outside from a social club.

In a statement last night, police welcomed the sentences and said they hoped it would send "out a clear message to anyone who thinks they can get away with this type of violent crime."

A spokesman said the victim was "left for dead" .

“Our assessment of the link to ANP is supported by the discovery of ‘Join ANP’ stencils found at the rear of premises linked to one of the suspects," he said.

There was widespread condemnation this week after the group issued a statement that relatives of police officers would be “legitimate targets”.

ANP had earlier issued the threat in a statement to The Irish News using a codeword.

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