Northern Ireland news

Convicted killer Jamie Smith pays tribute to murdered 'friend' Jim Donegan

Jim 'JD' Donegan on his stag weekend with friends in Marbella.

A CONVICTED killer has paid tribute to car dealer Jim ‘JD’ Donegan, who was shot dead outside a west Belfast school.

Jamie Smith is serving life in prison in Maghaberry for the murder of drug dealer Dougie Morrison. The former UDA member was shot dead in his Bangor flat by Liverpool-born Smith after failing to pay ‘tax’ to a rival drug gang.

Smith was caught with £250,000 worth of cocaine while on bail waiting to stand trial for the murder. He has a previous conviction for supplying heroin in Liverpool. Along with Peter Greer, he was paid to execute the 56-year-old Morrison and his friend Stephen Ritchie who survived the May 2011 attack.

In a notice placed in The Irish News on Saturday, Smith describes Mr Donegan (43) as “my friend” adding: “God takes the good young.

“You JD were one of the very best and I have many good memories, and the privilege to call you my friend.

Police released CCTV footage showing the gunman:


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“You lived and worked for your family and had a pure heart of gold.

“You lived life to the full and did more in your life than most could only dream of. Gone my friend but never forgotten. You will never walk alone. Your friend always.”

Liverpool born killer Jamie Smith, who is currently serving life in prison for murdering Dougie Morrison. Picture courtesy of Sunday Life.

Earlier this week Mr Donegan’s eldest son Cris paid tribute to his father. He wrote on social media: “You’ll never know just how proud I was to call you my daddy. You’ll for ever be my hero. Love you.”

Mr Donegan was shot dead outside St Mary’s Grammar school on Tuesday as he waited to pick up his 13-year-old son from his first marriage.

Parents and pupils watched as an unmasked gunman wearing a high-visibility jacket walked up to the victim’s Porsche Panamera shortly after 3pm and shot him eight times in the head and chest.

The murder bore the hallmarks of a professional hit.

Police released CCTV of the killer making his escape on foot into the Upper Andersonstown estate and disappearing.

Police released CCTV footage of the gunman running from the scene of the shooting.

Two men, aged 49 and 51, arrested after searches in west Belfast were released unconditionally.

The PSNI refused to say on Friday whether it had contacted An Garda Síochána for assistance in tracking the killer.

Mr Donegan had business interests and criminal associates on both sides of the border. Sources believe he may have become caught up in fighting between two Dublin-based crime families.

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

Jim Donegan was shot dead as he sat in his £80,000 sports car.

Murder victim Jim Donegan with his wife Laura


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