Northern Ireland

Michael McGibbon murder: Victim's widow appeals to killers for answers

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Media captionJoanne McGibbon said her priorty is getting answers about why her husband was targeted

The widow of a man who was murdered in a paramilitary-style shooting in west Belfast last month has appealed to his killers to tell her why he was killed.

Michael McGibbon, 33, was shot three times in the leg last month and died later in hospital from his injuries. Dissident republicans have been blamed.

His widow, Joanne, has spoken about the traumatic effect the murder has had on their four young children.

She said her need for answers took "priority" over her desire for justice.

"I'm just saying that I would like to have more answers," Mrs McGibbon told the BBC.

"I don't know what way they can get answers to me - if it is through the post or whatever else - but just the reason why they did this to our family, why they did it to Michael.

"It just doesn't make any sense to me."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Mr McGibbon's murder had been referred to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

She spoke about the fear and the control armed groups appear to exert in the local community and expressed doubt that her husband's killers would be brought to justice.

"My priory is to get answers for me and my family," she said.

"This is a group. I know someone was ordered to shoot him or whatever, but they worked together.

"So I really don't believe that there's any way of getting any of them, but if they can even listen - I don't think they will - but if they could even listen and find it in themselves, there must be some goodness."

Mr McGibbon was shot in his leg in an alleyway at Butler Place on 15 April.

His widow, who is a nurse, arrived at the scene shortly after the attack and tried to save his life by giving him first aid.

Image caption Michael McGibbon's widow Joanne attended a vigil for her husband last month

He was brought to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) where he died following emergency surgery.

The murder has been referred to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland as the victim had been in contact with police shortly before his death.

Officers have said that on the night before the murder, Mr McGibbon had contacted them to inform them that two masked men had arrived at his house.

He said the men asked him to come out of the house and when he refused they told him they would return.

On Wednesday, Mrs McGibbon told the Belfast Telegraph she and her children were moving out of their family home because she no longer feels safe in the area.

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