'payback' Gun victim Mark Hall blamed for helping source car used in murder of Robbie Lawlor
A source this week claimed gangland killings on the streets of Belfast would continue until the murder of serial killer Lawlor had been avenged
A criminal shot dead in front of his family a week before Christmas was blamed for helping source a car used in the murder of Dublin gangster Robbie Lawlor, the Sunday World has learned.
Mark Hall (37) was gunned down in his mother's Rodney Drive home in Belfast on December 18.
Earlier that day, he travelled by train from his home south of the border to deliver Christmas presents to his family.
But unknown to Hall, his movements were being monitored and a killer gang in Belfast were alerted that he was on his way back to his old St James' stomping ground in the west of the city.
A source this week claimed to the Sunday World that gangland killings on the streets of Belfast would continue until the murder of gangland serial killer Lawlor had been avenged.
The statement was made by an underworld insider minutes after the funeral of murdered Hall this week.
He revealed for the first time that Dublin criminals recently established a base in Belfast's New Lodge area.
And our sources maintained southern gangsters planned to use it to spring reprisal attacks on anyone even remotely connected to the murder of Lawlor - a notorious criminal heavily involved in the Drogheda feud.
Lawlor was the chief suspect in the gruesome killing of teenager Keane Mulready Woods in Drogheda two years ago.
But he was shot dead in the Ardoyne area of Belfast in April 2020. The shocking incident left families in the already troubled area traumatised.
It is believed Lawlor may have been lured into the close-knit nationalist district in the belief he was collecting a drugs debt and that Mark Hall may have been connected to the horrific killing.
"Dublin gang law has arrived in Belfast and the killings will continue until the man who murdered Robbie Lawlor is tracked down," said our source.
But our source also insisted that Hall signed his own death warrant when he allegedly made threats against named individuals he claimed had killed his close friend Warren Crossan, who was also shot a short distance from his mother's home in the St James' area.
Crossan (28) was previously arrested and questioned about the murder of Lawlor.
"Warren Crossan is gone and now Mark Hall is gone also. Both of them had been making threats. That's why they were killed," our source maintained.
"And the killings will continue until the man who shot Robbie Lawlor is dead," he added.
Hall's devastated partner Sabrina Wilde paid an emotional tribute to him on social media after his funeral on Wednesday.
She wrote: "Today you were laid to rest my life will never be the same again. I'll look after our two babies my love, life is just too cruel."
She added: "You were too good for this earth, I will cherish the moments we had together and leaving me with two beautiful babies."
Hall's brother Jayjay Hall also paid tribute.
He wrote: "Yesterday we laid you to rest, never will I get over what those cowardly rats done to you. You were a character, one of a kind I will cherish every single moment I've spent with you. I love ya forever bro." He added: "We will get justice."
Hall was chatting to relatives when his assassin struck, shooting him several times through the front room window.
Hall's sister, who bravely challenged the gunman as he approached the house, was lucky to escape unhurt when he fired a shot at her which passed through her handbag.
His mum Mary, who was resting in her sickbed just inches from the window, was taken to hospital where she was treated for shock.
At his funeral earlier this week, number of pitbull terrier-type dogs fronted the cortege as in made its way through the narrow streets of the St James' area where Hall had been brought up.
Despite suspicions that Hall was heavily involved in the illegal drugs trade, many local people turned out to pay their respects as his mum Mary is a much-loved and admired member of the local community.
She worked in a day care facility for older people and she also looked after her younger brother who requires constant care.
Hall's father Johnny - who passed away five years ago - had been jailed for republican offences and he too was well-liked in the area.
Residents in the area were catapulted into a state of shock when news of Hall's murder filtered back from the nearby Royal Victoria Hospital.
Strong and powerfully built, paramedics at first believed Hall would survive the murder bid. But he weakened as he was being taken to an ambulance and he died a short time later.
Mrs Hall was also removed to hospital where she was treated for shock and detained for several days.
"Coming as it did so soon after the murder of Warren Crossan in this area, the entire place was in a panic. We suffered badly during the Troubles and now with this type of thing, it appears there's going to be no let-up," a long-term resident said.
A 37-year-old man arrested on Thursday, December 23, by police investigating the murder of Hall was later released on bail pending further inquiries.
Earlier this year, Hall was acquitted of possessing a sawn-off shotgun, pistol and silencer after being arrested alongside Egyptian national Abdel Rezk in a Belfast hotel in February 2020. His co-accused was jailed for three years after a hearing at Belfast Crown Court last month, having pleaded guilty to possessing firearms and a small quantity of drugs.
Local people say that from an early age Mark Hall appeared to be destined for a life of crime.
"Mary was tortured by Mark. The police were never away from her door when he was growing up," one woman said.
Our source dismissed suggestions circulating last week that a 'hitman for hire' was offering his services in the St James' area.
"That's absolute nonsense," said our source. "These people don't operate like that."
"Mark Hall began his working life as a petty criminal. But he was determined to climb the crime ladder as quickly as possible and drug dealing was the route he chose," said our source.
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