violence fears | 

Border gang war set to continue after ‘break’ for funeral of Mark Lovell, source claims

Top border gang leaders met in a hotel to discuss ways of wiping out Lovell and all trace of his lucrative cocaine and heroin operation, it is claimed.

Murder victim Mark Lovell© PA

Eboney Hughes at his father's funeral

Hugh JordanSunday World

A murder mission aimed at wiping out a border drugs gang is to continue, the Sunday World has been told.

Criminal sources in south Armagh/Louth say the funeral of Mark Lovell last weekend did not signal the end of a vicious campaign of violence, but merely provided a short break.

Violence in the area has resulted in one man being murdered in a vicious gangland-style slaying in Newry with another lucky to escape with his life.

Three weeks ago, Mark Lovell (58) was brutally gunned down outside his daughter’s house at Ardcarn Park in the Carnagatt area.

The attack followed a failed murder bid on his son Ebony Hughes in border city centre.

“Mark Lovell’s funeral allowed for a short cessation. But that’s all it was. The threat against the Lovells continues,” said our source.

Whitney Hughes

Three weeks ago we revealed details of how top border gang leaders met in a hotel to discuss ways of wiping out Lovell and all trace of his lucrative cocaine and heroin operation.

It is believed money and guns were handed over in the hotel car park to facilitate violent attacks on the Lovell mob.

Within days, a move was made on the life of Lovell’s son Ebony Hughes.

The 6ft 2in fitness fanatic came within a whisker of being ambushed in Newry city centre.

But quick-thinking Hughes spotted his would-be attackers and he fled through the yard of Abbey CBS Grammar School to safety.

Hours later, the PSNI released a picture of Hughes and appealed for information in response to concerns of his safety.

The 29-year-old hasn’t been seen since north of the border, although he played a prominent role at the funeral of his dad in Dundalk last Saturday.

It is believed Ebony may be holed up at a secret location in north County Louth.

Last Saturday – as his father’s funeral cortege prepared to leave the family home on Dundalk’s Muirhevenamhor estate – Ebony used his Volkswagon Passat to hem in a car containing Sunday Worldstaff.

Eboney Hughes at his father's funeral

The tense stand-off – which took place in full view of officers from An Garda Síochána – was only resolved when a funeral undertaker told Hughes he needed to get his father’s coffin to the nearby Catholic Church in time for Requiem Mass at 11am.

As the cortege pulled into the car park of the Church of the Holy Family, Mark Lovell’s daughter Whitney Hughes gestured a one-finger salute to waiting reporters.Two days before, the 26-year-old had been granted compassionate bail in Northern Ireland to allow her to attend her father’s funeral.

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