Leading republican shot dead in Short Strand, east Belfast

NewsBy Jamie McDowell
The scene where Kevin McGuigan has been murdered in the Short Strand
The scene where Kevin McGuigan has been murdered in the Short Strand

A former top provo was shot dead in Belfast tonight (Wednesday).

He was named locally as Kevin McGuigan - one of the main suspects in the murder of Gerard 'Jock' Davison. He was shot dead at his front door in Comber Court in the Short Strand area of east Belfast.

Jock Davison was shot dead at point blank range in the same area of the city in May.

Davison and McGuigan were the founder members of the Provisional IRA front gang known as Direct Action Against Drugs.

Between them they're known to have organised the assassination of at least a dozen independent drugs dealers in Northern Ireland.

Among those targeted were Brendan 'Speedy' Fegan at the Hermitage bar in Newry.

And Brendan 'Bap' Campbell opposite a police station on the Lisburn Road in Belfast.

Tonight the Short Strand area of east Belfast is swamped by police.

There was speculation that McGuigan had been linked to Jock Davison's murder.

McGuigan himself had once been shot in both legs for allegedly running foul of the PIRA.

Now there are huge question marks over exactly who were responsible for the murders of Davison and McGuigan.

In a statement, Sinn Fein councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile said: "I unreservedly condemn the shooting of a local man near his home in the Short Strand tonight.

"This action has shocked the local community and my thoughts are with the family of the victim.

"There can be no place for actions like this in our society.

"The community here rejects any attempt by any armed group to turn the clock back to the past."

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell Tweeted: 

The DUP's Gavin Robinson Tweeted: