NEW PHOTOS: Kevin McGuigan murder was 'retaliation' for Jock Davison murder
Residents of the Short Strand area of east Belfast have told the press that the murder of leading republican Kevin McGuigan was 'in retaliation' for the murder of Gerard 'Jock' Davison.
This morning locals said that there is no doubt in their minds that the killing was to avenge the death of Davison, who was gunned in down in May of this year in the Markets area of east Belfast.
One local told the press: "This is payback for Jock and it is a warning to anybody else who may think of settling old scores with any IRA member."
McGuigan was shot six times in the back of the head and neck just before 9pm yesterday.
Neighbours rushed to his aid as he lay dying on the street.
The scene in the Short Strand where Kevin McGuigan was murdered
One neighbour who tried to help him told a reporter: "I started to pray for Kevin and told him over and over again that he'd be all right. I got my friend to run to get holy water and rosary beads. I said an Act of Contrition, Hail Mary and Our Father and I told him to breathe, and he did.
"He took three shallow breaths and then the ambulance arrived. My friend blessed him with holy water and I put the rosary beads in his hand. He was safe then."
Prior to Davison's murder, there had been bad blood between the two men.
Gerard 'Jock' Davison
The pair worked together in the PIRA front-gang Direct Action Against Drugs, carrying out several murders together.
But there was a bitter fall-out.
As a result, Jock Davison ordered men to give Kevin McGuigan a 'six pack' - six bullets; one in each elbow, ankle and knee.
When Davison was shot dead earlier this year, initial suspicions were that Kevin McGuigan was either the trigger-man or had ordered the attack, leading many to suspect that the hit on McGuigan was a brutal reprisal from those close to Davison.
READ THE FULL AND EXCLUSIVE STORY ON THE MURDER OF KEVIN MCGUIGAN THIS WEEKEND IN THE SUNDAY WORLD