Northern Ireland

Michael McGibbon: Daughter of murdered taxi driver urges people to speak out

The funeral for Michael McGibbon Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The funeral for Michael McGibbon took place at Holy Cross Church, north Belfast on 21 April

The daughter of taxi driver Michael McGibbon who was murdered in a paramilitary-style shooting has urged people who know the identity of her father's killers to come forward.

Shauna McGibbon said her father had gone out to protect his family and was murdered for it.

Mr McGibbon, 33, was shot three times in the leg in an alleyway in north Belfast in April. He died later.

Police said his killing bore the hallmarks of a paramilitary attack.

They said Mr McGibbon had contacted them to say that two masked men had arrived at his house on the evening of Thursday 14 April. The men ordered him to come out of the house but he refused, and they told him they would return. They did so the following night and he went with them and was shot.

Police said Mr McGibbon was not known to them and they did not know why he had been murdered. His death has been referred to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.

His daughter, Shauna, told the BBC's Nolan Show on Tuesday that people should speak out as paramilitaries were "a law on to themselves".

"I just want to express my anger towards how people are dealing with the criminals who did it. I think it is so unfair that they are able to get away with it because they are a law on to themselves, nothing will be placed on to them," she said.

"We are having to suffer for their actions. They are doing it on their own people, and it's not fair at all."

Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption Police are being urged to shift their focus from paramilitary activity to criminality

She said that her father went down to an alleyway to meet the paramilitaries but was given no explanation as to why they wanted to meet him.

"He went to protect us, not to go down and get murdered. It was to protect his family and to prove that he was innocent, and an innocent man."

Ms McGibbon was speaking after an independent panel called for a new decommissioning scheme to be set up, to deal with fresh requests from paramilitary groups to put their arms beyond use.

Shauna said people knew the identity of those who shot him, but were too frightened to say anything.

"Everybody knows who the criminals are and it's just they are afraid to speak out. And people are telling me, I know this person, and I know that person, then why aren't you speaking out, if you know all these people?

"Maybe their influence can be minimised if you'd speak out and tell the truth about what you know.

"If paramilitaries are a minority, why can't the majority take over, and speak out and say something and cause a positive response?"

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