Punishment attacks in post-ceasefire northern ireland An emergency department perspective

Kevin McGarry, Duncan Redmill*, Mark Edwards, Aoife Byrne, Aaron Brady, Mark Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
151 Downloads (Pure)


Northern Ireland (NI) has been in a post-conflict state for over twenty years. However, injuries sustained during paramilitary Punishment Attacks (PA) remain a common hospital presentation. The aim of this study was to compare the current province-wide frequency and cost with data collected from the same unit in 1994, the end of the so called, “Troubles”. A ten month retrospective emergency chart analysis from all assault and gunshot wound (GSW) attendances to the Emergency Department, Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast (RVH) in 2012 was carried out. Age, sex, injury type, treatment outcome and associated cost of PA was documented. During the study period we recorded a total of thirty two PAs. Twenty seven were the result of gunshot wounds (GSWs), while five were assaults (punishment beatings). Seventeen required admission for definitive management. Nine cases required orthopaedic intervention, two required plastic surgery, two required maxillofacial input and one case required vascular surgery. All but two of those involved were male. Mean age of individuals admitted was 27.47. Total cost of patients both admitted and managed in the Emergency Department (ED) amounted to £91,362. On comparison with 1994, there are more PA presentations. Due to changing wound characteristics and evolving management overall cost is however less.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-93
JournalUlster Medical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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