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News > Ireland

Belfast Man 'Kneecapped', Violence Grows Amid Irish Border Dispute

  • Police in Northern Ireland

    Police in Northern Ireland | Photo: Wikipedia

Published 22 August 2019

According to UK government figures, 81 people have been victims of paramilitary attacks in the north of Ireland between July 2018 and June 2019.

Police in the north of Ireland report that a “paramilitary-style shooting” took place in “broad daylight” on Thursday. The police warn that there have been a number of such attacks as tensions grow over uncertainty about a possible post-Brexit Irish border separating the north and the republic. Some are calling for Irish unification as a solution. 


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Police say that the man is in his forties and is in a stable condition in hospital after being shot in both of his legs in Ardoyne, Belfast. Police are alarmed at the rise in such attacks, the previous month saw a man in his twenties who was shot repeatedly in the middle of Belfast’s busy High St, also in broad daylight. The perpetrators are not known.

According to UK government figures, 87 people have been victims of paramilitary attacks in the north of Ireland between July 2018 and June 2019, within that, 2 victims were shot and 65 assaulted. In June alone there has been 12 paramilitary assaults, the highest since April 2009.

The increases in violence come amid nervousness about the future of Ireland post-Brexit. In the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, then a border would have to be erected separated the Republic of Ireland from the British occupied Northern Ireland. This would be a violation of the Good Friday peace agreement that stipulated that there must be frictionless movement across all of Ireland, it was a key condition in getting Republican guerillas to lay down arms. 

Sinn Fein, the pro-independence party, has called for an all-Ireland referendum on re-unification and independence in the event of a no-deal Brexit, they say it would be the only way to avoid a hard border, symbol of British occupation during the armed conflict.

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