DISSIDENT Republicans have claimed responsiblity for the attempted murder of a West Belfast man, shot at close range with a shotgun at the west Belfast home of a relative on Monday.
Noel Donnelly, a convicted sex-offender, is fighting for his life after receiving catastrophic injuries in an attack which has been claimed by (ONH) Oglaigh na hEireann. The 37-year-old is in a critical condition at the Royal Victoria Hospital as surgeons struggle to save the father-of-three who was convicted last year of indecently exposing himself to a primary school aged child. Other more serious charges were not proceeded with. A former member of the (Stickey’s) Official Republican Movement, Donnelly fled West Belfast after being charged with the sex offences and had been living in Newcastle, Co Down, for the last two years. He had previously been expelled from ORM, a group with links to the Official IRA, also known as the sticks, over accusations that he was an informer. However, he returned to West Belfast in the last few weeks after being bailed on unrelated charges to an address in Oranmore Street in the Clonard area. He was attacked in the kitchen of the house in front of his eight-year-old nephew who was playing a video game just feet from where he was shot. Two men were arrested in West Belfast yesterday in connection with the shooting but were last night released unconditionally. Using a recognised codeword ONH said they were responsible for the shooting adding that they had intended to kill Donnelly and “should he survive he will not be allowed to reside anywhere in Ireland”. They said Donnelly’s family “are not under any threat”. It is not the first time the west Belfast man has been targeted. In 2008 he narrowly survived an attempt on his life when a bullet past his shoulder. At the time he blamed the murder bid on a drug dealer who he had clashed with. In 2010 after his expulsion from the group, known as the ‘super sticks’ he was shot in the leg in a paramilitary style shooting. ONH said Donnelly had formed a criminal gang in Newcastle Co Down and was using the name of the organisation for financial gain. SDLP councillor Tim Attwood said it is a “vicious and barbaric attack”. Shame Fein councillor Jim McVeigh said: “Those behind this attack do not represent anyone” “They should immediately end their violence and threats against the people of west Belfast. Police appealed for anyone with information to contact them. Are they having a fucking laugh?
With many thanks to: Allison Morris, Security Correspondent, The Irish News, for the origional story.