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McCann condemns Poleglass attack on disabled boy

20 December, 2015 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann has strongly condemned a savage attack on two brothers, one of whom is a 16-year-old boy who is disabled, in the Colin area last night by a gang and has called for a robust police response to so-called vigilantes before another young person is killed.

And Jennifer McCann also accused Republican dissidents of using the killing of Christopher Meli for their own cynical ends.

Jennifer McCann said:

“This was a vicious attack on two youths, one of whom is a 16-year-old boy who suffers from a disability. 

“The youths were savagely beaten when they were attacked by a gang last night as they were walking back to their home in the Poleglass area. It’s believed those behind the attack are not from the Colin area.

“I unreservedly condemn this savage attack and call on anyone with any information on this vicious assault to bring it immediately to the police.

“Tensions have been high in the Colin area this week following the tragic killing of Christopher Meli last weekend. 

“The PSNI has launched an immediate investigation into the killing of Christopher Meli. A number of people have now been charged and the police are continuing to make arrests connected to the investigation.

“However, I am aware there have been threats made against young people in the area by people claiming to be dissident republicans and there have been reports of vigilantes being spotted in cars in the area.

“This activity is only making a tense situation worse and must stop immediately. No one should be trying to cynically exploit the killing of a young man for their own selfish ends.

“If the people behind this activity don’t desist then it’s only a matter of time before some other young person is killed or seriously wounded.

“I am calling on any young person or family who have received threats from any quarter to immediately go to the police. They have my support and the support of my party in doing so.

“I am meeting the police later to discuss last night’s attacks and the threats. 

“The PSNI must ensure there is an adequate presence on the ground to prevent any repeat of the despicable attack last night in Poleglass.

“I am calling too on people with any influence within the community to show leadership at this time and reject those attempting to raise tensions and create a climate of fear.”

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