Republicans unconvinced Kevin McGuigan was Jock trigger man

Kevin McGuigan (left) and Jock Davison
Kevin McGuigan (left) and Jock Davison

Kevin McGuigan may have been an innocent man.

Despite being condemned and fingered by many as the killer of Jock Davison, there are many who believe innocent blood was spilled on the streets of Belfast last Wednesday evening.

As news spread of the father of nine’s death some rejoiced believing ‘justice’ had been done yet there were others, even within republican circles, uncomfortable with his killing as they remain unconvinced by the rumours that he was the gunman responsible for Davison’s murder three months ago.

Some republicans, many who remained close to Davison up until his death three months ago, are questioning if the killers assassinated the wrong man due to a conflict of evidence.

Unsettled by unanswered questions several republicans have stated they were shocked by McGuigan’s murder, believing the killers acted too soon and without any clear proof.

The killers, who were close to Davison and hell-bent on revenge, are said to have grown frustrated and after three months of ‘investigating’ the killing and became exasperated at both the lack of clear answers and lack of reprisals.

“This could be more innocent blood that has been spilled and that’s the fact because no one knows who killed Jock, not even now,” a well placed source has told us.

“It has been rumour and speculation ever since he [Davison] was murdered, several names have been mentioned and the use of a hitman. No one knows, not even the cops.”

The Sunday World understands several other men who have been linked to the killing remain targets.

“Just because McGuigan is dead it doesn’t mean that’s the end of it for those who are still suspected of being involved. They are still targets, they are not in the clear, the investigation into Jock’s murder is still very much ongoing,” he revealed.

Claims that McGuigan was the gunman who walked up to Jock in the Market’s on a busy Monday morning, without a mask, and blasted him to death in broad daylight do not convince everyone, including the police.

“One of the most glaring questions is; would someone as well known in the areas as Kevin McGuigan, a one-time top Provo, founder of DAAD, responsible for countless punishment attacks and a former close friend to Jock, be able to shoot him unmasked and no one be able to identify him clearly?

“It was strongly believed the shooter was a hired hitman brought in for cash to carry out the hit, brought in by criminals. Was Kevin McGuigan behind that? No-one knows for sure but that’s the whole problem here, no one knows for sure, he may have been guilty of setting Jock up but he still could be entirely innocent,” another source confirmed.

McGuigan was co-founder of Direct Action Against Drugs with Davison and had earned a reputation for ruthlessness. Prone to extreme violence he was regarded as cold, calculating and callous.

Det Chief John McVea insisted Mr McGuigan was only spoken to by police as a potential witness into the Davison murder.

“I am aware of the speculation around a possible motive for this murder. Mr McGuigan was spoken to police but he was spoken to as a potential witness not a suspect. At this point in time that remains the position,” said the Detective.

The ‘hitman theory’ is loosely backed, according to sources, because of the lack of clear knowledge of the identification of the assassin.

In many other recent murders in Belfast involving the underworld and dissident republicans the identity was known within hours if not days to those operating in those circles.

The murders of Danny McKay, Tommy Crossan, Kieran McManus and Kevin Kearney are examples of cold-blooded hits where the names of the shooter or shooters were revealed almost immediately.

Kevin McGuigan, in the weeks after Jock’s death, repeatedly declared his innocence to his friends and family and to former republican comrades. Advised by concerned family and friends to conduct a media interview declaring his innocence, he refused.

Fellow suspect Scott McHugh spoke to the Sunday World vowing he was an innocent man, continuously being harassed by police.

Meanwhile as the heart-broken family of murder victim Kevin McGuigan make the final preparations for his final farewell, residents in both the Short Strand and The Markets areas are bracing themselves for further bloodshed as tensions continue to rise and calls for retaliation mount.

Kevin McGuigan’s son, Kevin Jnr, has been informed his life is under threat by police.

The still grieving family of Jock Davison are said to be convinced McGuigan was responsible for his death in May.

A police presence remains in the area.