” Tierna said to me she wanted to be really brave if the house was ever attacked again but she was too frightened when it happened ” – Joamnne Lavelle.
A NORTH Belfast family say they will have to flee their home after shots were fired in an attack believed to have been carried out by dissident republicans. Joanne Lavelle (43) was in the living room with her partner Martin McCartan and their daughter Tierna (14) just after 10pm on Sunday when four men armed with baseball bats and at least one gun approached the house at Cranbrook Court in Ardoyne.
The family were alerted by a security light and barricaded themselves in a room at the rear of the house, holding a bed against the door. Padlocks on the outside gates prevented the gang gaining entry. CCTV footage shows one of the attackers firing a shot – which misses an upstairs bedroom window by inches – before fleeing. There was a heavy police presence in Ardoyne yesterday as crime-scene investigators conducted examinations. The incident was the third attack on the family since 2007 when shots were fired at the house. In 2008 Mr McCartan was shot five times in a paramilitary-style attack. Ms Lavelle said she is now too afraid to stay in her home. ” We were locked in the bedroom with my daughter in hysterics for what felt like ages,” she said. ” I was trying to phone the police but my hands were shaking so much I couldn’t ring the number. ” Tierna said to me she wanted to be really brave if the house was ever attacked again but she was too frightened when it happened.
” She watched [ dissidents ] shoot her daddy in 2008. ” After that we had to get her counselling. I can’t stay in this house any more. My wee girl’s health is suffering. ” I’ve lived in this district all my life. ” My parents live in this street and they’re not well. If it wasn’t for them I’d have moved out long ago.” In September police told Ms Lavelle that her life was under threat from dissident republicans. A week later Mr McCartan also received a death threat. ” I’d put extra security in the house after the latest threat. I had a feeling that something was going to happen,” Ms Lavelle said. ” Tierna is too afraid to go to school. She thinks something might happen to me or her daddy while she’s not here. ” They know I have a child in this house. My three grandchildren are also always here. ” I’m living from day to day. I’m afraid they are going to shoot through a window and kill my wee girl. ” These people don’t care who they hurt. They don’t care what they are doing to my daughter.”
POLICE APPEAL – 18 HOURS LATER.
POLICE issued an appeal for information about the shooting more than 18 hours after it had taken place. An appeal for public assistance with the investigation was issued at 4.15pm after The Irish News asked the police press office for a comment on the attack.
A spokesman said : ” Detectives in North Belfast are appealing for information following the report of a shot being fired at a house in the Cranbrook Court area on Sunday October 14. ” It was reported at around 10.15pm that a number of masked men had called to a house in the area and fired a shot at the front of the house. ” Three people were at home at the time but there are no reports of any injuries. “Police would ask anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information to contact CID in Tennent Street.” The spokesman said police had delayed issuing their appeal because they were waiting for officers to establish the facts first.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : ALLISON MORRIS, IRISH NEWS.
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