Police in North investigate 'ruthless' Belfast killing
THE MURDER of a 36-year-old man in Belfast was the work of dissidents, according to republican sources. The PSNI said, however, it was not certain the killers belonged to any one organisation.
Danny McKay, who was known to police, was shot a number of times in the living room of his home in Newtownabbey, on the outskirts of north Belfast on Thursday. At least two men are believed to have been involved.
At a press conference yesterday, police said they were investigating a possible link to drugs and the involvement of dissident republican paramilitaries but were keeping an open mind.
Det Chief Insp John McVea called the killers “ruthless” and added: “Whatever Daniel may have done in his life, nothing merits this.”
Police were also investigating a link to a hijacked car found burned out in west Belfast.
Republican sources, however, said all the signs pointed to the involvement of dissidents.
“The car was stolen in the New Lodge area and burned out in Divis – that requires a degree of organisation,” said a source.
“This guy had a past. He wouldn’t have been a big player but he messed up in some way and this is how he was dealt with. This is very extreme, very rough justice.” Local people say Mr McKay was well-known in the area and had a partner and child.
The incident happened at about 8.30pm on Thursday on the residential Longlands Road. It comes just days after MI5 downgraded the security threat from dissident republicans in Britain from “substantial” to “moderate”. The “severe” threat in the North remains unchanged.
The MP for the area, the DUP’s Nigel Dodds, called it an “appalling and brutal killing”.
He added: “Throughout the entire community people will be sickened by this and will be thinking today about how often we used to hear about these kinds of killings in the past and making it very clear that we don’t want any return to this kind of activity.”
The MLA for north Belfast, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly, said there was “no place in our society for this type of action . . . This community does not want this happening in their name.” Local Sinn Féin councillor Gerry O’Reilly said people had been left in a state of shock.“Those responsible have shown an absolute disregard for the local community,” he said.
Meanwhile, dissidents have also been blamed for a pipe bomb attack on police in Belfast on Thursday night.
The device was thrown at a police vehicle in the Poleglass estate in west Belfast, when the PSNI was responding to a hoax call.
The bomb did not explode, but PSNI Superintendent Philip Knox said it was a viable device which could have caused injury or death.