REAL-LIFE STORIES

PAUL SMYTH

DR BRENDAN SINNOTT


CASE STUDY 1 – JOHNNY

The paramilitaries have been after me since I was only thirteen.

I’m always moving so they can’t get me…

It all started when my Granda got sick. He was the rock in our family. The one who made sure we went to school and stayed out of trouble. When he died I went off the rails.

The paramilitaries put the word out that I needed sorted. I got kicked out of school because they said I was a risk to the other kids. They said they were ‘protecting the estate’ from me. My family tried to speak to them but they didn’t want to know.

I’m trying to change and do better but I’m always on edge, always looking over my shoulder, waiting for it to happen. I want to live back at home with my Ma, but I can’t. I can’t let her see me get beaten by hammers or shot.

CASE STUDY 2 – MARK

I was a bit younger when my father was shot.

I’ll never forget it. I thought life couldn’t get any worse, but it did. My mate died in an accident. That was it for me. I started doing things. I didn’t care…

Then I got my girlfriend pregnant. I didn’t know what to do.

Once my boy was born, we settled down, but it didn’t work out and after that I didn’t get to see my son as much as I’d like. I started drinking more and stopped listening to anyone who tried to support me. I was told I was reckless and a danger to the estate, that I had a big mouth. That’s when the paramilitaries gave the order.

My Da took me to be shot. He was there to hold my hand. I walk with a limp now. I’m told that my leg will never be back to how it was. I’ll never play sports again, even just a walk to the shops is a battle. My life will never be the same because of those bullets.

Paramilitaries don’t protect you.
They Control You.

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