Tell PSNI rather than Facebook appeal after stabbing

Sinn Fein Councillor Johnny McGibbon
Sinn Fein Councillor Johnny McGibbon

TELL the police instead of Facebook is the message after a teenager was stabbed in Lurgan’s Shankill estate.

It followed an incident at Dill Avenue in the early hours of Saturday morning when an 18-year-old man was stabbed several times in the back.

The victim was rushed to hospital but has since been released. Four men, two aged 17, one aged 22 and a 16-year-old boy, questioned over the stabbing have since been bailed.

Sinn Fein councillor Johnny McGibbon said anyone with information about anti-social elements in the Wakehurst area should pass it to the relevant authorities rather than posting it on social-media sites.

Cllr McGibbon said: “The vast majority of those living in the Wakehurst area are decent, hard working people. But like most areas Wakehurst has its share of problem families who cause disruption and chaos for their neighbours.

“Some of these people need help others are amoral individuals with criminal tendencies. Whichever category they belong to the relevant authorities need to be made aware of their activities.

“Recent comments posted on social media indicate that those posting have a lot of knowledge of what is happening within their local area. I would ask these people to pass that information on to those who are empowered to act on it, whether that is Social Services, Housing Executive or the PSNI,” said the Loughside Councillor.

A number of local people, who were too scared to be named, contacted the ‘MAIL’ over the weekend complaining of a rash of anti-social behaviour in the area.

And one teen on Facebook described himself: “We are the hoods we dnt go far!!! we steal ur car!! we rally around outside ur gate!! coz wer the hoods of the Shankilll estate. Kick to kill, stab for fun, Lurgan hoods number 1, whealinn dealin, stabbin, stealin, Lurgan hoods.”

Local SDLP Councillor Joe Nelson asked: “Is this Lurgan or Dodge City.... Dill Ave has turned into a very dangerous place?”

Another local resident who also didn’t want to be identified said the problems in Shankill were getting worse but that it was just a small group of people causing all the problems.

Cllr Nelson said he was shocked to learn of yet another violent weekend incident in Lurgan. “I understand the victim’s injuries are not life threatening and we would wish him a speedy recovery, however we could have been dealing with a much more serious situation.

“It is frightening that this level of violence has once more visited our town and what is very concerning is the young age of some of those involved on consecutive weekends.

“I would urge anyone who has any information that might help the PSNI with their investigations to come forward so that those responsible can be dealt with through the courts.

“Appropriate sentencing of those found guilty might discourage others from engaging in this kind of behaviour,” he said.

Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson said people in the town wanted to live free from criminal elements and urged local people who can to assist police. “We can be thankful that the injuries received by the victim are not life threatening.

“The actions of those who carried out this crime are to be condemned.”