West Belfast shooting exposes brutality of dissidents

The shooting of a 56-year-old man in west Belfast on Sunday night was yet another violent criminal attack that exposes the brutality of the dissident republican organisations.

These groups hold themselves up as some form of higher authority when it comes to determining if someone should be shot but there can be no possible justification for taking someone to an alleyway or darkened street and carrying out such a barbaric deed.

In the latest attack, the victim, who is believed to be from the north of the city, was shot at Glenwood Drive in Poleglass. He was hit six times, three gunshot wounds to each leg, in what was clearly a horrific and cold-blooded attack.

He is now in a stable condition in hospital but as we know from past experience these attacks have resulted in victims suffering life-changing injuries and even death.

It is only seven months since father of four Michael McGibbon was shot and left to bleed to death in an alley in Ardoyne, north Belfast, dying in front of his distraught wife.

This was a despicable crime that caused widespread outrage and sparked protests by local residents.

Yet dissident groups continue to sit in judgment, carrying out these deplorable acts of violence that are completely unacceptable in any normal society.

In a statement, Óglaigh na hÉireann claimed responsibility for the Sunday night's shooting and a paramilitary attack in June in which a man was shot in both feet.

The illegal organisation also claimed it had intended to kill a man in north Belfast on Sunday but when they arrived at his house he was not at home.

This man has now been given 24 hours to leave the country.

It is disturbing to think that after all the pain and misery that has been inflicted on thousands of people in Northern Ireland there are still individuals plotting to carry out murder knowing the awful suffering it will cause.

Those supporting these groups need to think very carefully about the type of society they are offering, one where paramilitaries are the self-styled arbiters of the law and where violence or the threat of violence is their chosen method of exerting control.

We have had too much killing, too much bloodshed.

The dissident groups may believe that violence is the answer but they are wrong.

Taking a gun and shooting someone multiple times in the leg is never the answer and must be wholly condemned.

People want to see an end to gun law and the repugnant actions of those who believe they can act with impunity.