Latest Derry shooting ‘part of deal’ to allow former INLA man to return to the city

As well as being shot in the leg, the man has also been ordered to pay a significant “fine” to the INLA

Forensic officers at the scene of the Derry shooting

Ciaran O'NeillSunday World

The INLA is being blamed for the latest “shooting by appointment” in Derry.

Several sources have said a former INLA member was shot last Saturday night as part of a “deal” to allow him to return to the city after he was kicked out over a dispute about extortion rackets.

The man, who is in his 40s, was shot once in the lower leg during the attack in the Skeoge area, but his injuries are not believed to have been serious.

The Sunday World understands the man shot was a former leading member of the INLA in Derry.

However, he and several other members were booted out of the organisation and exiled from Derry a number of months ago.

Sources have said those turfed out had allegedly told local businesses their extortion payments were being increased – without getting the go-ahead to do so from the INLA leadership.

As a result, they were kicked out of an organisation which police believe is heavily involved in both extortion and drug dealing.

However, last weekend’s shooting is understood to have been organised as part of the deal to allow the victim back into Derry.

As well as receiving a “flesh” wound in the shooting, the victim has also been ordered to pay a significant “fine” to the INLA.

While the finger of blame is being pointed at the INLA, no group has claimed responsibility for the weekend attack.

It was the second “shooting by appointment” in Derry this year – but the two attacks are not believed to be linked.

In the previous attack on January 23, a man in his 30s was shot once in the leg after he was ordered to turn up at a secluded location off Buncrana Road.

There has also been no claim of responsibility for the January shooting.

In recent years, the PSNI has been trying to crack down on the INLA’s criminal activity in the north west.

Eight men and one woman were arrested following a major cross-border operation in June 2021.

Speaking after the arrests, PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent John McVea said the INLA was involved in “all forms of criminality including the organised illegal supply of controlled drugs”.

“These criminals don’t care about the wider impact their drug dealing will have on the wider community and public services,” he said.

“They do not care about the harm and devastation they cause, all they want is to make money by whatever means they can. They prey on the most vulnerable in our communities, using fear and intimidation, callously exploiting people’s vulnerabilities in the most despicable ways possible.

“The money they take from people – who may be struggling financially – is used to line their own pockets and feed their own greedy needs.”

Police say their investigation into last weekend’s shooting in Derry, which happened between 10pm and 10.30pm on Saturday, is at an early stage and have appealed for anyone with information to contact investigating officers.

“We’re also keen to hear from drivers with dash-cam who were in the area at this time,” said a PSNI spokesperson.

“The injuries inflicted on the victim are a stark violation of his basic human rights.

“There is no justification for this type of violence. Attacks like these not only place the victim at risk, but also the local community.”

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