Shock at murder of senior PIRA figure
Shock at murder of senior PIRA figure


Prominent Belfast republican Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison was shot dead this morning in the Markets area in a killing which has shocked the city less than 48 hours before polls open in the Westminster general election.

A former senior commander in the Provisional IRA, Mr Davison is believed to have been shot several times at about 9am at Welsh Street. Members of Mr Davison’s extended family and friends later attempted to break through the PSNI security cordon at the scene.

Sinn Fein sources and others have blamed a criminal gang for what they described as a “brutal murder”.

Mr Davison has been centrally involved in the power struggles of central Belfast for many years. He is also alleged to have been indirectly involved in the pub row that subsequently resulted in the high-profile death of east Belfast man Robert McCartney in Magennis’s Bar close to the Markets in early 2005.

Mr Davison was one of three IRA figures who were said to have been court martialled and disciplined by the Provisional IRA after it carried out its own investigation. He was later accused of working as a police informer by Mr McCartney’s sister, Catherine. He remained a key Sinn Fein supporter in the area throughout and in recent years took on the role of a community worker.

The dead man is survived by a partner and three children. Sinn Fein Assembly members Alex Maskey and Mairtin O Muilleoir visited the scene to offer assistance to the Davison family.

Mr Maskey described the killing as “brutal”, adding: “The people who took his life have robbed this community not only of a family member but of a person who had been working tirelessly on behalf of the community.” He described Mr Davison as “a longstanding republican and community worker”.

Mr Maskey said he did not want to speculate on who might be responsible but added that “clearly they have nothing to offer”.

Sinn Fein’s representative in the nearby Short Strand, Niall O Donnghaile, said: “My friend has been callously murdered while working for the people of the community he loved. He and his beloved family are foremost in my mind.”

The Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams also offered his condolences to Mr Davison’s family and said people were appalled at the murder.

“This brutal act will be condemned by all sensible people. There can be no place today for such actions. I would urge anyone with any information to bring that forward to the PSNI,” he said.

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