Northern Ireland news

Two men released without charge in Jim Donegan murder investigation

Murder victim Jim JD Donegan with his wife Laura
Digital Staff

Two men arrested in connection with the killing of a father outside his son's school have been released without charge.

Jim JD Donegan (43) was shot in the head and chest as he sat in his Porsche waiting to collect his 13-year-old son from school in west Belfast.

Two men, aged 49 and 51, were detained yesterday evening following a number of searches in west Belfast and have now been released unconditionally.

Read More: Wife of murder victim Jim Donegan pays touching tribute

More than 1,000 pupils were leaving schools on the Glen Road when Mr Donegan was shot by a gunman who was captured on CCTV walking calmly to the scene and then fleeing on foot.

Teachers shielded the car in which Mr Donegan sat from the view of children.

Footage of the gunman in the Jim Donegan murder captured running away from the scene of the gangland style assassination

Mr Donegan was a father of two sons and a stepfather.

Sources say the victim may have found himself on the outskirts of the ongoing Dublin criminal feud. Among his close friends is a man who is a known associate of Gerry Hutch, known as 'The Monk'. The fued between the Hutch and Kinehan crime families has so far claimed at least 16 lives. 

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The PSNI refused to say yesterday whether or not they had contacted An Garda Síochána for assistance in tracking Mr Donegan's killer. Police also said dissident republican involvement would remain a line of inquiry. 

Mr Donegan owned a courier company and among his other business interests was a car dealership, Infinity Autos, which offered second hand cars for sale with full finance and no credit checks.

He also ran a valeting service which cleaned second hand cars in preparation for sale.

Sources say Mr Donegan was a regular visitor to Wilson's Auction house in Mallusk and had been at the car auction on the morning of his murder.

A spokesperson for the popular auctioneers said yesterday; "Wilsons Auctions outsourced its valeting work in Belfast to Infinity Autos of which Jim Donegan was an associate".

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Laura Donegan is comforted at the scene where her husband Jim was shot dead. Picture Alan Lewis.

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