‘I had to watch my son get shot’

Ciaran McFadden, father of Sean McFadden, one of those kneecapped by RAAD on Wednesday night at Gartan Square. 0903JM14
Ciaran McFadden, father of Sean McFadden, one of those kneecapped by RAAD on Wednesday night at Gartan Square. 0903JM14
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A Derry father who says he was left with no choice but to take his son to an alleyway in the Bogside where he was shot on Wednesday night has said those responsible are “very dangerous people” and that he is scared for the rest of the city.

Ciaran McFadden, a former republican prisoner, was speaking after his son, also called Ciaran, and his nephew, were shot in the legs in the Gartan Square area at around 11pm on Wednesday.

KNEECAPPING. . . .The area in Gartan Square where two young men were kneecapped by RAAD on Wednesday night. 0903JM15

KNEECAPPING. . . .The area in Gartan Square where two young men were kneecapped by RAAD on Wednesday night. 0903JM15

No group has, as yet, claimed responsibility for the attack, but Mr McFadden said that RAAD were responsible.

Mr McFadden, a son of veteran Derry republican, the late Barney McFadden, said his son was shot because of his involvement in what he described as a “drunken row” with a member of RAAD outside a bar in Creggan last weekend, which resulted in death threats being issued against four young people, including his son and nephew.

Mr McFadden said he could only watch as his son and nephew were shot and that he knew that if he tried to intervene he would be killed.

He also said he made efforts to have the threats lifts but added that “RAAD won’t listen to anyone.”

The former IRA man also said he believes that RAAD are now “throwing it up to republicans” and warned that more attacks could follow.

“These people are really scary. They are very dangerous people and they listen to no-one. I tried to sort this out but they would not listen to anyone. They are throwing it up to republicans. They think they are the IRA but they are not the IRA. My past meant nothing to them,” he stated .

“They are flexing their muscles since the killing of Andrew Allen. They are scaring the community now; they have crossed a line,” he said.

Mr McFadden also said he is aware he could be targeted for speaking out. “I know they could come to my door and shoot me dead. I have promised my wife that I will not do anything but the community will rise against these people. They are bullies with guns and I am scared for the rest of the people of Derry,” he said.

The shootings came just hours after around 300 people attended a public rally in Creggan calling for threats to be lifted and for RAAD to disband.

The protest was organised by a number of local women, some of whose children have received threats from the vigilante group. A number of the mothers were told to bring their sons to a certain location to be shot by appointment.

Speaking at the rally, Creggan woman Anne McMonagle urged relatives of those involved in RAAD to held end the group’s campaign.

“I want to appeal to the children of members of RAAD, and to their wives and mothers to tell them not to do this and that it is wrong and totally out of order,” she said.

Long-time community activist Roisin Barton also spoke at the meeting and called on RAAD to disband.

“I’m here as a mother and a grandmother to support the young people and their families that have been threatened by this faceless and I would say somewhat speechless group known as RAAD. And to stand shoulder to shoulder with this community.

“I would say to RAAD how dare they call themselves republicans.

“This group have no support and have done nothing but inflict death and suffering on a community that has endured oppression from an age-old enemy but should not now be living in fear from people within their own community,” she said.

Ms Barton also said RAAD have no support in the community. “Who gives RAAD the right to threaten, to torture our young people, and to hold this community to ransom? Certainly not me and I believe certainly not this community. It is obvious by their actions that they have no respect for us, for our young people or for our human rights or the rights of anyone in this city.

“They clearly think they can do whatever they choose to do and we will not stand idly by and allow them to do this.

They need to know that what they are doing doesn’t work; that we don’t want them and that what they have to offer is only brutality and fear and how can this help anyone.

“What we have to say to RAAD is to leave this city and get off our backs,” she said.