West Belfast mobilizes in anger against violent attacks on pensioners
Over 400 people took to the streets in a sign of unity in the face of violent attacks on some of our most vulnerable. A message from Maureen Sheperd was read out by Gerard Fitzpatrick, Maureen was attacked last Friday in her home by a gang of thugs who left the pensioner battered and bruised.
In the message that was read out Maureen thanked everyone for their support from both sides of the community.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to everyone who attended this evening it means a great deal to see the amount of support from both sides of the community.
“I am overwhelmed by the messages, cards, presents and flowers from everyone. I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart and can only pray that this attack will be the last.
“I hope that all the old and the vulnerable in our areas will be safe.”
The people of West Belfast rallied at Albert Street outside the pensioners home who had been attacked last Friday, Maureen was left in hospital, not only hurt physically but mentally too, the news of this attack sickened the community.
People rallied against those who perpetrate these attacks, anti-community elements have been a scourge on the community the last few years and now the people have had enough, i only hope that this will continue so the people can reclaim their community.
Gerard Fitzpatrick said, “It is sad that is has taken so long and such a horrific attack for our community to stand together to show we are no longer going to allow anti-community elements to run our communities,” he said.
“I would like to send my support to all victims of attacks. This is not a recent thing, sadly these attacks have been happening for a long, long time.
“Most recently the attack on Maureen Shepherd, a 76-year-old well-respected woman in the Lower Falls who was attacked by a cowardly, no good scumbag.
“These unprovoked attacks are no doubt going to be a really hard issue to challenge. I have started putting together some personal safety kits.
“This is some information on how the elderly and vulnerable can ensure their own personal security with panic alarms and bolt safety locks for your doors.”
Many issues were raised including the Christopher Meli attack which led to the young mans death after he was beaten and mugged in West Belfast.