Sunday 25 February 2018

Man (27) held by police over murder of former IRA boss Gerard 'Jock' Davison

Gerard Davison
Gerard Davison

Deborah McAleese

Detectives investigating the shooting of former IRA commander Gerard 'Jock' Davison have arrested a 27-year-old man.

He is currently being held for questioning at a police station in Belfast. A second man (41) was quizzed on Wednesday morning in connection with the murder of the high profile republican figure but was released without charge later that evening.

Mr Davison was gunned down in the street close to his home in the Markets area on Tuesday morning.

Read More: Davison murder shows North’s criminal gangs no longer fear Provos

The father-of-three is believed to have been making his way to a community centre where he worked when he was attacked.

He was shot a number of times while walking along Welsh Street in the staunchly-republican Markets area close to the city centre.

It is understood he was ambushed by a lone gunman, who shot him several times, before making off on foot.

The father-of-three died at the scene.

Police have ruled out a sectarian motive or dissident republican involvement.

Read More: Our bid for justice died with ‘Jock’, say McCartney sisters

However, they are trawling through Davison's past to draw up a list of suspects who may have wanted him dead.

As the IRA officer commanding in Belfast, the 47-year-old was one of the best-known republican figures in the city and was accused of ordering the murder of Robert McCartney in 2005 after he and his friend Brendan Devine got into a bar fight with IRA members.

The 33-year-old was stabbed to death, and Mr Devine had his throat slashed, after they became involved in an argument with IRA members.

Mr Davison was one of three IRA members expelled following an internal investigation by the organisation in the wake of the killing.

He always denied any involvement in the attack.

Read More: Second man arrested in connection with probe into Gerard 'Jock' Davison's murder

While detectives are attempting to determine if Davison's murder is in any way connected with the McCartney case, other motives are also under investigation.

Another theory under consideration is that he may have been murdered as an act of revenge for Catholic father-of-four Samuel Ward, who was shot dead by the IRA in October 1992.

Officers are also probing the possibility that his murder could be connected to a row with drug dealers.

Davison, who had close links to the Sinn Fein leadership, was vocal in his opposition to drugs.

Read More: Davison felt unassailable in his area, surrounded by IRA gang

"Over the years Davison had run-ins with all sorts of groups and individuals," a police source said.

A house in north Belfast was searched on Tuesday night as part of the investigation into his murder.

Belfast Telegraph

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