Published Thursday, 14 February 2013
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Margaret McAleenan's son Padraig was shot at about 8.30pm on Tuesday and, since then, she's had to sit by his hospital bed and watch him fight for life.
He suffered gunshot wounds to the thigh and buttock and Margaret revealed that his pelvis has been damaged, his bladder perforated and that there has been bleeding in his stomach.
"It's going to be very bad for him because he's never been in hospital before, to wake up to something like that," she said.
Margaret is acutely aware that her son has been in trouble with the law, but she insists that it's not for anyone on the street to punish him.
"The courts dealt with him before and let the courts deal with him if he's doing anything now," she said, adding that he was lucky to have survived the shooting.
He's no saint, but that doesn't give anybody the right to take a gun to him.
But she doesn't believe that Padraig has been doing the things that he's been accused of by paramilitaries, who had warned him that they were planning to shoot him for drug dealing.
"He's a user, not a dealer," Margaret said.
"I've tried to explain that to the people that think he's selling drugs. He's not a dealer, he's a user - he has a problem which he's trying to seek help for."
While she admits her son had run-ins with paramilitaries, she added that he often doesn't go out of the house and that he doesn't have money to buy things, so she doesn't think he's dealing.
She's convinced those responsible for his shooting were trying to make an example of him by killing him and can't understand why police ever doubted paramilitaries were involved.
"With a gun involved, who else would it have been? There's nobody else would have done it," she said.
Police initially described the gun attack as having been paramilitary style, but then said that was no longer the case.
But in another turn-around on Thursday, a PSNI spokesman confirmed: "The incident is being treated once again as a suspected paramilitary style shooting, based on the information currently available to police."