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Daughter blames IRA for Short Strand murder

Father-of-nine Kevin McGuigan (53) with his grandson Ollie

A daughter of Kevin McGuigan has said she believes the IRA were involved in his killing.

One of the murdered man's nine children posted a message online directed at Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey, who has denied that mainstream republicans were involved in the attack on the 53-year-old.

Mr McGuigan had been previously warned by police that he was under threat following speculation that he was involved in the murder of former IRA commander Gerard 'Jock' Davison in the Markets area of Belfast in May.

He was shot numerous times after two gunmen approached him as he opened a gate at his home in the Comber Court area of the Short Strand in east Belfast on Wednesday evening. His wife, Dolores, witnessed the brutal attack.

A man and a woman were arrested in the Short Strand area by police investigating the murder.

It is understood they were not being questioned about the actual shooting but events linked to the attack.

They were later released unconditionally.

It is thought that republican friends of Mr Davison, who was one of the founding members of the IRA cover group Direct Action Against Drugs, carried out the shooting.

One of Mr McGuigan's sons, Kevin McGuigan jnr, has also been warned by police that he may be under threat from republicans.

On her Facebook page yesterday, one of the murdered man's daughters posted a message to Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey saying "even the dogs in the street no (sic) them scum IRA murdered my daddy", adding that "a good man and a loyal republican there is no man could fill his boots".

Friends and relatives have gathered outside his home to lay flowers at the spot where he was killed.

A former republican prisoner, Mr McGuigan had served time in prison for kidnapping a British soldier after being arrested in 1986 along with Ardoyne republican Martin Meehen.

He remained active in the IRA after being released from jail from a 10-year term and was at one time a close friend of Jock Davison before falling foul of the organisation.

He was later shot four times in an IRA punishment-style attack believed to have been ordered by Mr Davison.

His name, along with that of a number of high-profile criminals who had close relatives murdered by DAAD, were widely circulated as suspects in the killing of Mr Davison.

Police confirmed they spoke to Mr McGuigan about the murder but said it was as a "witness" and not a suspect.

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