Northern Ireland

Vigil for victim of north Belfast paramilitary attack

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Media captionCrowds gathered at Holy Cross Church to remember Mr McGibbon

A vigil has been held for a father-of-four who died after being shot in north Belfast on Friday night.

Michael McGibbon, 33, was shot three times in the leg in what the PSNI described as a paramilitary attack.

He was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where he later died.

Police said Mr McGibbon was not known to them and they did not know why he had been murdered.

Image caption Relatives of Michael McGibbon comforted each other at the vigil at Holy Cross

He was married with a young family.

Speaking at Tuesday's vigil at Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne, Mr McGibbon's wife Joanne said the Ardoyne community is stronger than those who carried out Michael's killing.

"The strength of this community will overtake anything that anyone who wants to destroy it has to do.

Image caption Mr McGibbon's wife Joanne said the Ardoyne community is stronger than those who killed him

"If we all stay strong, we can stop these people. They can't beat us and it's not fair that families should have to go through this. They are not judge and jury."

In a tweet, the PSNI said a loyalist protest, which had been planned for Tuesday night, was cancelled out of respect for Mr McGibbon's family.

The Rector of Holy Cross, Fr Gary Donegan, said the vigil sent out a strong message to Mr McGibbon's killers.

"We're a proud community here. A community that has suffered and endured loss like no other in the history of this country," he said.

Image caption The Rector of Holy Cross in Ardoyne, Fr Gary Donegan, said the vigil sent out a strong message to Mr McGibbon's killers

"We have the home of Michael in the shadow of this church, but it was people who came from the shadows who chose to take his young life.

"We will not let those who live in the shadows empty us of our courage.

"This young widow showed more courage, compassion and mercy than you'll ever know."

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