A Derry mother was ordered to take her 18-year-old son to a laneway where he was shot in both legs by vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD).
The Belfast Telegraph reports that the young man was targeted by the paramilitary terror group because he had been dealing drugs. The distraught mother said she had no choice but to bring her son to Rinmore Drive.
She said, “He walked down the lane and I stood at the top and I heard two shots. I ran down and there was blood coming from his legs and I said ‘Are you all right son', and he said ‘I am grand mammy'.”
The unidentified mother said she did “what had to be done”.
“I am glad it is over. He was dealing drugs to feed his habit. He is sore but otherwise he is okay.”
She said she now hopes her son will get the help he needs and get off drugs. He had already been discharged from hospital.
On Wednesday, the public held an opposition rally in Derry’s Guildhall Square. They expressed their concern over RAAD’s vigilante activity following a number of shootings and death threats. It has also been revealed that five other young men have left the city in fear of being attacked.
RAAD has been blamed for the murder of Andrew Allen (24) from Buncrana, Derry.
The organizers of the rally believe the shooting of the 18-year-old was RAAD’s attempt to show their contempt for the anti-RAAD rally and the people of Derry City.
Davy McCauley, one of the 700 protesters said, “There is no doubt in my mind that the timing of the shooting of this young man was a cynical move by RAAD to show utter contempt for the rally and to the people of Derry.”
“They have set themselves up as so called protectors of the community, but the reality is they are bullies and thugs who will shoot anyone they deem to be a target.
“But they cannot shoot the whole of Derry which is why it is vital that people turn out in large numbers for this rally.”
Bernadette McAliskey, who served as MP for the Mid-Ulster constituency from 1969-1974, spoke at the rally.
She said, “Democracy isn’t working. But, the last thing that a democracy that isn’t working needs is an idiot, a militarist and a mug with a gun who wants to impose democracy on the population. And why? Because he wants to be a policeman, but he doesn’t want to be in the big police, he wants to be a policeman all on his own!
“He thinks that somehow or other this provides a republican ideology to the fact he is dying to get his hands on a uniform again.”
Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin, District Commander of Foyle, said the local community was being brutalized by RAAD.
He said, “This is being carried out by a criminal gang who set themselves up unlawfully as judge, jury and administers of summary punishment.
“They have brutalized members of their community and inflicted terrible injuries, much of those on young people over the last number of years... this year we have seen their thirst for power go further when they claimed responsibility for murder.
“They seek to intimidate and bully... and its time they listened to the community, stop what they are doing and disband.”