Fire damaged car could give vital information over murder of Loyalist
Published 14/08/2016 | 23:07
A partially burnt out car suspected of being used in the murder of a prominent loyalist in Northern Ireland could hold vital information, police have revealed.
The silver Renault Megane, found last Tuesday at the entrance to an old quarry on Wheelers Road, Lisburn, was one of three vehicles in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast around the time Ulster Defence Association (UDA) member John Boreland was gunned down.
The shotgun used to murder the 46-year-old father-of-three a week ago has not been recovered.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said they are no longer interested in a motorbike but want to trace the movements of the silver Megane registration GJZ 4870, which is being forensically examined.
They are also trying to piece together the movements of a black Peugeot 307 which was seen in the area of the murder.
Boreland was believed to have been the victim of loyalist in-fighting but detectives said paramilitarism is only one line of inquiry along with possible criminality and other motives.
Detectives returned to the scene of the murder on Sunningdale Gardens exactly a week on and stopped cars, spoke to motorists and pedestrians and renewed house-to-house enquiries.
They said they were aiming to ensure every possible piece of information about the murder has been captured.
Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway, from the PSNI's serious crime branch, said: "We believe the silver Megane travelled along Sunningdale Gardens towards Ballysillan Road.
"We are appealing to anyone who saw this silver car last Sunday night and between last Sunday and Tuesday when it was recovered partially burnt out.
"We also want to hear from anyone who saw the car over recent days and weeks - who was in it, where it was being driven or parked. This is a key line of enquiry at this stage in the investigation."
Detectives are also trying to establish Mr Boreland's movements in the 24 hours before his death.
They said he had been in a bar on the Oldpark Road until shortly before he was shot and they appealed for anyone who was in his company in the pub or who saw or spoke to him after he left to come forward.
Boreland, a close associate of well-known Belfast loyalist Andre Shoukri, escaped an assassination attempt in 2014.
He was engaged to be married and is understood to have taken steps to protect himself after being made aware of renewed threats to his life in recent months.
Boreland's funeral took place on the Old Park Road on Saturday morning and he was buried in Roselawn Cemetery.
DCI Galloway appealed for information on the Peugeot 307 which travelled along Sunningdale Gardens in the direction of Sunningdale Park on the night of the murder.
He urged anyone who was in the Sunningdale Gardens area around 9.50pm last Sunday or who saw or heard the shooting or anything suspicious to come forward.
One man arrested in connection with the shooting was released without charge.
DCI Galloway said: "Police are following a number of lines of enquiry in relation to this murder. Tensions within loyalist paramilitarism and criminality remain active lines of enquiry but they are not the only ones.
"It is important that people with information about what happened last Sunday night or who have information about Mr Boreland come forward and give that information to police."
Police patrols were stepped up in the Ballysillan area in the days after the attack amid fears of retaliation.
There have been mounting tensions between loyalist groupings in north Belfast in recent weeks.
Loyalist gunmen have been responsible for dozens of murders since the organisations supposedly went on ceasefire in the 1990s.
Many killings have been linked to feuds and turf wars among loyalist rivals.
The latest shooting has prompted further questions about the authenticity of the ceasefires.