Northern Ireland news

Leading loyalist John Boreland shot dead in north Belfast

Claire Simpson and Jennifer Maloney
08 August, 2016 01:00

LEADING loyalist John Boreland has been shot dead in north Belfast. 

The attack happened at Sunningdale Gardens, off the Ballysillan Road, at around 9.50pm on Sunday.

Police said they were working to investigate the circumstances of the fatal shooting and have appealed for witnesses to get in touch.

The man was named locally as ex-UDA chief Boreland, who is a close associate of Andre Shoukri.

Witnesses reported large crowds gathering at the scene of the gun attack in the hours after the incident.

Tensions have been high in north Belfast since families were forced out of their homes in nearby Tigers Bay and in the Alliance and Glenbryn areas of Upper Ardoyne by a renegade faction of the UDA.

The leader of the rogue group is thought to have fled to Scotland after clashing with members of a rival UVF gang based in nearby Mount Vernon.

The shooting was condemned by Andy Allen MLA and Ulster Unionist Policing spokesperson, Ross Hussey MLA.

“I am disgusted to learn that a man has lost his life this evening as a result of guns being brought on to our streets. There is no excuse for such acts." Mr Allen said.

Mr Hussey added: "Murder is murder and cannot be justified. It must be condemned. I would urge anyone with information to contact the police so that those responsible can be brought to justice.”

Police appeal for information following the shooting of John Boreland

The UUP's justice spokesman Doug Beattie MLA also added his voice to the condemnation adding that the attack "does nothing to promote a peaceful Northern Ireland and perpetuates fear within the community".

He added: "Yet again we see the total contempt for life from some quarters of our society. The cold, calculated murder is against the rule of law and it further fragments a community which is desperately trying to secure a peaceful environment for their families.

Police ask to speak to drivers in area of shooting

"The perpetrators of this crime do nothing for the hard working people of north Belfast who have gone through so much over the years. Neither do they represent any quarter of the community; instead their actions are both selfish and self-defeating."

First Minister Arlene Foster tweeted that she was "shocked and disgusted to hear of a murder in north Belfast. I urge everyone to work with the police as they investigate."

Sinn Fein's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness tweeted: "This was shameful and I unreservedly condemn it."

His party colleague, Gerry Kelly, MLA for North Belfast,  also condemned the killing, tweeting: "Just heard that a man was shot dead in North Belfast. Whoever did it It must be condemned outright and information brought to police."

Secretary of State James Brokenshire said he was "concerned to hear of fatal shooting" and added that there was "no place for violence in communities" and urged anyone with information to contact the PSNI. 

A man was shot dead in the Sunningdale Gardens area of north Belfast, off the Ballysillan Road, around 9.50pm on Sunday

08 August, 2016 01:00 Northern Ireland news

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