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Dad moves to clear his son of any involvement


Flowers mark the spot where Kieran McManus was shot dead Flowers mark the spot where Kieran McManus was shot dead
By Staff Reporter

THE father of the West Belfast man who was attacked with a samurai sword by murder victim Kieran McManus during a bloody brawl in Turf Lodge three years ago says his son had “absolutely no involvement” in the murder of Mr McManus.

Speaking to the Andersonstown News, Michael Smith’s father – also called Michael – said that although his son has “a long criminal record”, he had nothing to do with the brutal slaying of the man who maimed him in a running street battle in February 2010. And as rumours linking Michael Smith Jnr with the murder swept the city, Michael Snr accompanied his son to Townhall police station where he presented himself for interview. He says he did so because his son is innocent of any involvement in the brutal killing of the 26-year-old father-of-one, who was shot dead outside Dominos Pizza on Kennedy Way on Sunday, March 30. Michael Smith Jnr is now free on police bail.

“My son was really worried when the news came through that Kieran McManus had been shot and killed as he knew he was going to be the first one people would blame it on,” said Michael Snr.

“Kieran McManus had many enemies, not just my son. The PSNI do not have one shred of evidence that Michael was involved in this because my son had absolutely no involvement in it. And my son has no influence over the Continuity IRA or the INLA whatsoever.”

Michael recalled the night that his son was struck with the samurai sword by the late Mr McManus – suffering an appalling injury that has left him without the use of his right arm.

“They always say there were three carloads of men involved in attacking Kieran McManus and his brother – that is simply not true,” he said.

“My son almost died. He had to have 16 pints of blood put into him after it and he has lost the power in his right arm. A fella brought him to the hospital and if it hadn’t have been for him my son would have died.”

Michael Snr said that despite the reports linking his son with the killing of Kieran McManus, his son is a victim.

“I want to make it clear that my son is not a member of any paramilitary organisation,” he added. “My son is a victim here. He is all over the place at the minute, his mother has been physically sick about the whole thing. He is basically living on his nerves. My son knows where he was the night Kieran McManus was killed. Everybody has jumped to the conclusion that it was him involved, but I’m saying my son is innocent in all of this.”

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