Butchers back on Shankill

Young Catholic
is badly injured by hatchet gang

A hatchet wielding loyalist gang from the Shankill split open a West Belfast man’s head in the early hours of yesterday morning and left the young victim for dead.

The target of the vicious assault is believed to be from the Gransha area and between 27 and 30 years of age. He had been walking across Carrick Hill when loyalists armed with hatchets attacked him at around 1.50am .

And the latest attack has led to calls for action after a spate of attacks in the area, which is close to the Shankill Road. Katrina McMoran who lives in the Scot Quarters flats on Carrick Hill said she heard screams as she sat watching television.

“There were about three attacks around the same time. I heard this girl screaming and saw men attacking the man she was with. We ran down the stairs. We didn’t see that a fella had got a terrible beating and was lying unconscious on the ground. It looked like the girl’s husband had been attacked coming to help him. There were about five loyalists and I think they thought they had killed the fella because they walked calmly on to the Shankill. There were ones on the Clifton Street side that were on mobiles and then this black car appeared which I thought was very suspicious. It looks like they are phoning for these cars to come through.”

The young woman, her mother and sister went to the aid of the young man.

“He got up and was staggering. We brought him into the flats but he was concussed and in shock. I phoned an ambulance for him. He had a big open wound on his head from the crown to his forehead. It was sticking up and was open. I said to him that his arm was broken because it was round his back and he couldn’t move it. I said to him ‘you got attacked’, but he didn’t know anything. He just kept saying he had to go home because he had a match in the morning. He said he had been out at the Odyssey and was from Gransha. I don’t know what he was doing up on Carrick Hill.”

Residents of Carrick Hill said the situation was worsening on the notorious stretch of road between Clifton Street, Shankill and the Falls Road.

Journalist: Andrea McKernon

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