Monday 20 May 2019

Provos who shot man 'murdered another last year'

'Dogs in the street' know Provos were behind deaths of Kevin McGuigan and Tommy Crossan

The scene of Kevin McGuigan's murder
The scene of Kevin McGuigan's murder
Kevin McGuigan
Tommy Crossan

Jim Cusack

The Provisional IRA was responsible for another murder in Belfast last year as well as that of father-of-nine Kevin McGuigan, who was gunned down outside his home last Wednesday night, informed sources in the city have said.

McGuigan's murder was preceded by that of Tommy Crossan (44) who was shot dead at the diesel outlet he was operating on the Springfield Road in the heart of Gerry Adams' old West Belfast constituency on April 18 last year. Crossan was a father of six.

McGuigan's murder was widely attributed to some of his 'dissident' republican associates. But sources in west Belfast say there is 'little doubt' that he was murdered by the Provisional IRA - an organisation which both the British and Irish governments maintain does not exist and cannot, therefore, be involved in acts of terrorism or serious criminality.

Local people say McGuigan was shot dead because he had refused to close down his fuel depot outlet and would not buy illicit diesel from the Provisonals' massive fuel smuggling operations based in South Armagh and North Louth.

Crossan, who had served six years' imprisonment for firing shots at a police station in the 1990s, was said to have refused to bend to threats from senior Provisional IRA fuel-smugglers. His murder bore similarities to that of Kevin McGuigan's last week. Both victims were approached by two gunmen who opened fire, hitting their victims first in the torso. In both cases, as the victims feel, the gunmen then stood over them and fired repeatedly into their heads.

Careful planning had gone into both murders, with close surveillance providing details of times and movements. Crossan was known to be in or around his premises only at infrequent times. Kevin McGuigan (53) was apparently watched as he returned home from attedn ing his daughter's camogie match.

In both cases there were probably several others involved in the murders including drivers, look-outs and others to remove and hide weapons as well as assisting in the forensic disposal of potential evidence.

As in the case of Tommy Crossan, the involvement of the Provisional IRA in Kevin McGuigan's murder was a matter which a former senior republican referred to as being at a 'dogs in the street' level of public knowledge.

Whereas Crossan was murdered for largely financial reasons and for showing disrespect to the Provo leaders, McGuigan was apparently shot dead because he was blamed for the murder in April of senior Belfast Provo Gerard 'Jock' Davison, the man who notoriously gave the order for the murder of the innocent Belfast father-of-one Robert McCartney in January 2005.

Local sources said McGuigan, a former IRA hitman who left the organisation after being kneecapped for 'anti-social behaviour', had become closely involved with a drugs gang in Belfast and shot Davison because the Provo boss was demanding 'protection' money. McGuigan had also blamed Davison for having him subjected to the punishment shooting.

The case of the Crossan murder, for which no charges have been brought, raised little media or political interest as the various 'dissident' groups he was associated with are notorious for their criminality and in-fighting.

Sinn Fein said the murder was the work of 'criminals' posing as republicans.

Crossan had been outspoken about how members of the Provisional IRA, some active in Sinn Fein, had grown wealthy through crime and money laundering.

Republican sources in the North believe the Provos were also responsible for sending a postal bomb to MI5's headquarters in Belfast at Palace Barracks on Friday last. The device exploded in a postal van causing no injuries but damage to a number of vehicles.

Sunday Independent

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