'Jock' gun one of batch used in gangland attacks
Further details have emerged about a batch of guns linked to the murder of former IRA commander Gerard 'Jock' Davison.
A senior detective investigating the killing has said he believes the gun was part of a consignment smuggled into Ireland from eastern Europe.
The Irish News has since learned that the gangland murder of bodyguard Stephen 'Dougie' Moran in Co Dublin was carried out with an identical weapon to the one used to shoot dead Mr Davison in a south Belfast street last month.
Moran (46), originally from Limerick and with a Traveller background but living in Lucan, was gunned down outside his home in March last year.
The killing bore remarkable similarities to the murder of the 47-year-old IRA man turned community worker in that it was carried out by a lone gunman, unmasked and armed with an unusual Makarov handgun with no previous ballistic history.
Mr Davison was shot four times in Welsh street in the Markets area, a short distance from his Friendly Street home.
Moran was shot three times as he walked to his front door.
The 46-year-old ran a security business and also had interests in several bars. At the time of his death he was under investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau in the Republic.
Moran drove an armour-plated BMW jeep, and had been acting as a driver and bodyguard to criminal boss John Gilligan following his release from prison in October 2013 after serving 17 years of a 20-year term for drug offences.
A similar Russian handgun was used in the attempted assassination of Gilligan in March last year at his brother's house at Greenfort, in the Clondalkin area of Dublin.
He survived the attack but fled Ireland shortly afterwards.
Gilligan was linked to the 1996 killing of Dublin crime reporter Veronica Guerin.
Last week Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway told The Irish News that investigation into Mr Davison's murder was a now a cross-border man hunt.
Police are working with gardai after establishing that the gun had been part of a batch brought into Dublin by eastern European criminals.
The Makarov handgun is a type rarely seen in Northern Ireland until now.
However, similar weapons have been recovered by gardaí investigating serious crime in the Republic.
'Jock' Davison is thought to have been killed in a grudge shooting linked to the republican's IRA past.
Mr Galloway told the Irish News: "The weapon is relatively unusual in Northern Ireland. They are more common in Dublin, so that's a definite line of enquiry. We are as a result working with gardaí on that."