Alternative justice: 35 paramilitary attacks in Dungannon

Paramilitary attacks have continued
Paramilitary attacks have continued

Latest figures released by the PSNI reveal the grim extent of paramilitary punishment attacks in the Dungannon District.

Between 2014 and 1990, there have been 35 such attacks by paramilitaries operating beyond the law in the local area.

Paramilitary attacks have continued

Paramilitary attacks have continued

A total of 31 of the assaults were carried out by Republican paramilitaries, while the remaining four were perpetrated by loyalists.

However, across Northern Ireland, the majority of the attacks were carried out by loyalists (58 percent).

Lives were lost and limbs destroyed in assaults and shootings carried out by both sides.

The attacks have continued into the present day with almost 500 such incidents reported across Northern Ireland in the last six years alone.

A total of 31 of the assaults were carried out by Republican paramilitaries,

The highest number of assaults were reported in West Belfast – 357. The highest number of shootings took place in North Belfast – 481 incidents.

In the Dungannon area, 13 of the attacks were shootings, while the remaining 22 were described as assaults. Since 2009, in 13 of these attacks charges were brought against at least one person. However, only one person has been convicted to date.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Typically a paramilitary style attack is carried out on an individual or individuals by one or more persons usually from their own community.

“The reasoning behind the attack is usually either to intimidate the victim or to punish them for perceived anti-social activities.”

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: “The PSNI condemns paramilitary style attacks in the strongest possible terms. They are barbaric and brutal, often leaving victims with life changing injuries.”

He said that all attacks are fully investigated but challenges include injured parties being unable or unwilling to provide information to help to identity offenders, witnesses may be unwilling to cooperate possibly due to fear of reprisal.