Irish Republican News · January 12, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
INLA condemned for attack on boy

The INLA has been criticised for a punishment attack on a 14-year-old boy in north Belfast on Friday night.

The small Republican arms group has not admitted involvement in the incident, but an investigation is being carried out by the Republican Socialist Movement, of which the INLA is a part.

The boy was taken from the Ardoyne area of north Belfast at around 6.30pm on Friday and was not seen again until shortly before 11pm.

He was later found bleeding from a gunshot wound in his left leg in the New Lodge area.

Punishment shootings and beatings have long been used in Republican areas to tackle anti-social activities such as joy-riding.

Although the practice has been widely condemned, many communities do not view the North's sectarian policing and judicial system as a viable option. Some have worked to develop alternative community-based programmes.

The attack was condemned by north Belfast Sinn Féin councillor Margaret McClenaghan.

``If this is for some activity he has been involved in, then the way through this is community restorative justice,'' she said. ``It's the only way community disputes can be resolved''.

The boy's grandmother last night said he was the victim of a ``personal vendetta''.

``He is only a child and has suffered enough already,'' she said.

``The men that did this were going to shoot him four times but only shot him once because they thought they might get caught.

``They have tarred and feathered him before and are thugs themselves.''


Meanwhile, the breakaway political party, Republican Sinn Féin, has described as ``gutter journalism'' reports which claimed the group was parading children in paramilitary regalia at its annual Sean South commemoration in Limerick.

The group claimed the report in the Evening Herald were ``an insult to the noble Republican scouting organisation founded in 1909''.

Speaking at the event, a leading member of the group said that the `Real IRA' should ``consider disbanding, and dumping arms because they have no credibility and are not the true inheritors of the 1916 Proclamation.''

He claimed the group had stayed with the ``sell-out Provos'' for eleven years and as a result were ``compromised and lacked political judgement and credibility''.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News