Between 1990 and 2013:
- 94 children were shot by loyalist paramilitaries.
- 73 children were shot by republican paramilitaries.
- 166 children were beaten – some badly mutilated – by loyalist paramilitaries.
- 178 children were beaten by Republican paramilitaries.
- In total, more than 500 children abused by the IRA, UVF, UDA etc.
Trevor Lunn MLA said: “There has never been any justification for so called ‘punishment’ attacks, no matter who carried them out or when they took place. I do not accept the claims that those responsible were merely policing their community. It was never about defending their neighbourhood or filling a vacuum left by the Police. These were purely vicious attacks carried out by those with evil intent. Their purpose was to create fear and intimidation within the local community.
“The number of children who were victims of such attacks is shocking. It is appalling that there are those who would seek to target our young people, many of whom are still struggling with the consequences of these incidents.
“These attacks continue to take place today, with a man shot in both legs in West Belfast on Sunday. This incident, like all paramilitary-style attacks should be condemned by all sides. These attacks must stop.
“Unfortunately, there has been a low conviction rate for these crimes. The Police must do more to successfully prosecute those responsible and eradicate this terror on our society. It is essential that the walls of silence around this type of criminal activity must be broken down. Unless people are brave enough to come forward with information, many of these crimes will remain unresolved.”