The young man who was wounded in a weekend gun attack in Strabane was “shot by appointment,” republican sources in the town have claimed.
The 20 year-old was shot in both legs on a green space in the Springhill Park area of the town after being brought there in a car.
A number of children were playing in the area at the time of the shooting at around 8.15pm on Sunday.
No group has claimed responsibility for the gun attack but many in Strabane have blamed vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD).
Republican sources in Strabane have said the victim had just recently returned to the town and may have been “brought to the area and shot by appointment.”
Community worker Paul Gallagher was on the scene shortly after the shooting. “When I arrived he was laying face down and had been shot in each leg. A neighbour had brought a blanket out and the lad’s father was there with him.
“People in the area are shocked because they thought things like this had been left in the past. Vigilantism has not worked in the past and will not work in the future,” he said.
The shooting was also condemned by Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty. “The overwhelming speculation in the town is pointing to the group ‘RAAD’ as being responsible for this attack.
“If this is the case then I would once again challenge those involved in this group to give a coherent rationale for their actions. Up until this point the group has singularly failed to do so.
“This group professes to be Republican yet has stated that it has no interest in pursuing a United Ireland,” Mr Doherty said.