fearful | 

Close associates of murdered drug lord Sean Fox stayed away from his funeral

The Sunday World understands those responsible for the Fox killing have already identified their next target, believed to be a drug dealer based in the south of the city.

Funeral of Sean Fox at Christ the Redeemer Church in Lagmore on Tuesday. Mr Fox, 42, was shot dead in front of customers in the Donegal Celtic Sports and Social Club Pic Pacemaker

Murder victim Sean Fox had voiced concerns for his personal safety in the months before he was shot dead in west Belfast. Fox 49, had denied he was drug kingpin after pal Jim Donegan’s shooting in 2018.

Police investigating the murder of Sean Fox in west Belfast have released CCTV footage of two suspects who were caught on camera at the scene of the shooting. Mr Fox, 42, was shot dead in front of customers in the Donegal Celtic Sports and Social Club on Sunday afternoon.

Father Patrick McCafferty from Corpus Christi Parish in west Belfast(Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)

Drug dealer pals Jim Donegan and Sean Fox who were both killed.

Richard SullivanSunday World

Close associates of murdered drug lord Sean Fox stayed away from this funeral over fears of being targeted.

A number of well known underworld figures were notable absentees as Fox was laid to rest on Tuesday, eight days after he was gunned down at the Donegal Celtic social club in west Belfast.

Fox ignored warnings he was on a hit list and paid the ultimate price.

His shooting has sparked fear among the city’s criminal underworld with a number of known criminals going underground and some have even left the city until tensions ease.

People whose names have appeared on a hit-list have been advised their lives are in danger.

The Sunday World understands those responsible for the Fox killing have already identified their next target, believed to be a drug dealer based in the south of the city

Murder victim Sean Fox had voiced concerns for his personal safety in the months before he was shot dead in west Belfast. Fox 49, had denied he was drug kingpin after pal Jim Donegan’s shooting in 2018.

Well placed criminal sources say those who carried out the murder, believed to be from the same crew who murdered drug dealer Jim ‘JD’ Donegan in 2018.

Donegan was close to Fox and was shot several times at point blank range as he sat in his car waiting to collect his son from school.

Sources said the killers are willing to bide their time.

“They can wait,” said our source.

Drug dealer pals Jim Donegan and Sean Fox who were both killed.

“It’s nearly four years since JD was taken out so time is not a problem, they are happy to wait until the right moment to get their man.”

Fox is believed to have taken over Donegan’s trade but is believed to have refused to settle a £30,000 debt he inherited from his friend.

“There’s a lot of nervous people around at the moment, a few of them stayed away from Seanie’s funeral, they don’t want to be seen as having been close to him. It would be enough to get them killed.”

Mourners at this funeral this week heard his life had been “cruelly taken from him by ruthless and evil individuals.”

At the funeral Mass at Christ the Redeemer Church, Fr Paddy McCafferty said Fox's killers “set out, with deliberate intent and careful planning, to murder” him.

“Those who take human life commit a heinous offence against the living God. They break God's fifth commandment, Thou shalt not kill.

“Those who ordered, planned and carried out this ruthless crime, their fate, if they persist in their sin and wickedness, is the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels,” he said.

Father Patrick McCafferty from Corpus Christi Parish in west Belfast(Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)

Fox’s wife Katrina, son Nathan, daughter Megan, parents John and Anne, and his sisters Nichola and Carrie, were joined by dozens of mourners for funeral mass followed by cremation at Roselawn.

Detectives have maintained a presence at the scene and DCI Millar repeated the PSNI’s appeal for information.

“The gunmen left on foot, along the Suffolk Road, in the direction of Gweedore Gardens.

“On Sunday afternoon, October 9, our officers revisited the scene of this callous and targeted attack, which has left a whole community in shock.

“We are continuing to appeal for information and would ask anyone who was in the Donegal Celtic Sports and Social Club and who witnessed what happened, or who may have mobile footage, to contact us.”

Mr Fox's murder has been linked to five other executions - the shootings of Donegan, Mark Hall, Warren Crossan, Robbie Lawlor and Tommy Crossan.

Meanwhile the police defended its handling of investigations into a series of murder across the north and west of the city.

The force was responding to withering criticism from Parish Priest Father McCafferty who said it was incomprehensible that no one had been held accountable for up to 16 murders in recent years across the district adding that the “dogs in the street’’ knew who was responsible.

It has prompted Belfast district commander chief superintendent Darrin Jones to promise increased resources across the west of the city will continue in the aftermath of the “deplorable” killing which took place in Donegal Celtic Sports and Social Club on October 2.

“Detective colleagues from our Major Investigation Team continue to investigate the horrific murder of Mr Fox and a number of other murders,” he said.

“We need the community to work with us and come forward to tell police what they know about the people who carry out these heinous murders.

“We need evidence in order to successfully prosecute and it is by working together that we can obtain better outcomes.

“I appreciate that can be difficult for some people but there are many avenues available to report information including Crimestoppers which has offered a reward of up to £20,000 for anonymous information it receives that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder of Mr Fox.”

Police investigating the murder of Sean Fox in west Belfast have released CCTV footage of two suspects who were caught on camera at the scene of the shooting. Mr Fox, 42, was shot dead in front of customers in the Donegal Celtic Sports and Social Club on Sunday afternoon.

The senior policeman is particularly interested in gathering mobile phone footage from those who were in the club watching football when the killers opened fire.

“This was a calculated, planned, ruthless execution,” Mr Jones added.

“It was carried out in broad daylight and in the presence of others.

“The gunmen left on foot, along the Suffolk Road, in the direction of Gweedore Gardens.”

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Fr McCafferty described the PSNI's failure to solve the spate of murders is an “indictment of the entire system of law and order” in Northern Ireland.

The priest also said it “beggars belief” that gunmen are able to act with “impunity” casting a shadow of doubt over “the protective power” of the police.

“I know people who have told the police certain things and no action has been taken,” he claimed while lamenting the heartbreak and grief caused by the serious drug problem in his community.


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