Murdered crime boss knew killer, says PSNI
Published 09/03/2011 | 05:00
A CRIME boss and his wife who were shot dead in the North were murdered by somebody they knew, police revealed yesterday.
Hugh McGeough (56), a major drugs dealer, and his partner Jackie McCartney (44) could have been dead for up to seven hours before their bodies were discovered by Jackie's son Martin at their home in Craigavon, Co Armagh.
They had been shot at least once in a downstairs room of the house, which was fitted with bulletproof windows and doors.
Detectives said they had not established a motive for the shooting, but McGeough, who was once jailed for nine years for wounding a teenager, had made a number of enemies in the criminal underworld because of his drugs links and record of violence.
Police last night heightened security measures in the area because of fears there could be retaliatory attacks.
PSNI Chief Inspector Richard Harkness, the detective heading up the investigation, said: "Someone's past is no justification for this kind of execution."
The couple had spent the weekend in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, returning home early on Sunday afternoon.
Police said a man called on them at 9pm on Sunday night -- a second man is thought to have waited in a car outside -- and even though their bodies were not discovered until 6pm on Monday, it's believed the couple could have been killed at 11am.
Telephone records show McGeough did not answer any calls after that time.
Ms McCartney's son became concerned when his mother failed to answer her phone.
Police believe no shots were heard because of the reinforced glass and doors at the detached house at Legahory Court, Craigavon. There was no evidence of a struggle.
Insp Harkness said: "I believe they knew the person, or persons who murdered them. That is based on my crime scene assessment. I would hope there would not been any such escalation (of violence) in this area.
"What we need are facts and assistance from the local community."
In February 2004, McGeough was jailed for nine years when he was convicted of wounding with intent teenager Peter McNally (19), in Craigavon in 2001, who was shot dead in a feud between rival drugs gangs. At the time, the victim was on the run from a young offender centre in Belfast.
SDLP councillor Michael McGoldrick, chairman of Craigavon District Policing Partnership, said the shooting was out of character for the area.
He said: "People are stunned by what has happened. These murderers have to be stopped and put behind bars for a very long time."