Northern Ireland

Londonderry shooting victim 'stable' in hospital

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Media captionThe gun attack happened in the Creggan area of Derry on Monday night

A man who was shot in Londonderry a day before he was due to appear in court is now in a stable condition.

Harry Boyle, 25, from Lawrence Hill in the city was shot twice in the leg. He is being treated at the Royal Victoria hospital in Belfast.

The attack happened at Magowan Park in the Creggan area of the city shortly before 21:00 BST on Monday.

Police believe dissident republican paramilitaries may be responsible for the shooting.

Image caption Forensic investigators have been gathering evidence at the scene on Tuesday morning

Harry Boyle had been due to appear at Londonderry Crown Court on Tuesday to face drugs charges.

A barrister told the court that Mr Boyle had not regained consciousness since being transferred from Altnagelvin Hospital to Belfast.

'Shooting by appointment'

PSNI Supt Mark McEwan said the investigation would focus on "violent dissident republicans".

"This is a societal and cultural problem," said Supt McEwan, "evidenced by the fact that sometimes these attacks are carried out "by appointment", that needs "addressed by all those with influence".

"We will do everything within our power to prevent such attacks and to bring the perpetrators before the courts and I would ask for the community's help in doing this," he said.

Image caption The man was shot in the leg in McGowan Park in the Creggan area of the city

"It is understandable that people are fearful, however, we will treat any information sensitively."

"Those who are involved in paramilitary-style attacks do not represent the interests of any community nor contribute anything to it.

"They prey on the community and have no legitimacy in dealing with perceived unlawful behaviour or misdemeanours.

"This type of activity has no place in a civilised society. Those who are involved in such behaviour have no thought or concern for their victims, victim's families or the wider community."

'Barbaric assault'

Supt McEwan said the attack was "barbaric": "The PSNI condemns paramilitary style attacks in the strongest possible terms. They are barbaric and brutal.

"This has all the hallmarks of a paramilitary assault and we are regarding it as such. We've seen this type of assault in the city before."

Image caption The area remained cordoned off on Tuesday morning

Supt McEwan also responded to reports that it took police an hour to arrive at the scene.

"We are looking at the time frame it took but there are other considerations for officers operating in this area.

"We have had attacks on police officers before and we know that some of these groupings will stage these types of incidents to mount an attack."

Part of the estate has been cordoned off by police who are examining the area on Tuesday morning.

Image caption The shooting happened outside Mary Doherty's home

Magowan Park is a new development on the former St Peters' High School site.

Pensioner Mary Doherty, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lives on the estate.

"I was just coming back from my sisters and my grandson rang me to say somebody was shot up near my door," she said

"It's very traumatic, I'm very annoyed about it. Very upsetting for everybody. Everybody is suffering pain."

Image caption The scene at Magowan Park at first light on Tuesday morning

Fr Joseph Gormley, a priest at St Mary's Parish in Creggan, condemned the attack, saying those who carried it out were "narrow-minded" and did not represent the local community.

"It must have been very frightening for the residents," he said.

"It's so terrible to see blood, literally, on our streets again. Who has any right to do what was done here tonight?

"Who do they think they are? They only represent their own narrow-minded selves."

Fr Gormley said paramilitary-style attacks do not solve problems and only bring "more pain" to society.

"We've seen so many of these attacks over the years and what do they solve? Nothing. There's no justification at all."

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