Northern Ireland news

Jim Donegan gunman 'has killed before'

 Police were on Glen Road in west Belfast this afternoon renewing their appeal for information on the murder of Jim Donegan. Picture by Mal McCann

POLICE believe the gunman who shot dead Jim Donegan outside a west Belfast school has killed before.

Jim JD Donegan (43) was shot in the head and chest as he sat in his red Porsche waiting to collect his 13-year-old son from school on the Glen Road on December 4 and police today arrested a 47-year-old man in Turf Lodge in west Belfast under the Terrorism Act.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery said dissident republican involvement is still a line of inquiry as police renewed their appeal for information one week after the murder.

DCI Montgomery described the killer as "a very cold, callous and calm individual, and I believe he has done this before".

Officers spoke to parents this afternoon as they picked up their children from school and released new CCTV footage showing the gunman activating the pedestrian crossing lights before walking across the road and beside school children seconds before opening fire. Mr Donegan was shot eight times in the head and chest and died at the scene.

His wife, Laura Donegan, has denied her husband was involved in any criminal activity following claims he was a drug dealer.

She said Jim Donegan "worked hard every day" and she would "forever defend and stand up" for him.

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

Police have released new CCTV footage today:

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

DCI Montgomery said many children witnessed the "brutal slaying".

“The chilling CCTV footage shows him walking down the  Glen Road  before stopping outside Christian Brothers Secondary School . He then activates and waits at the pedestrian crossing for the ‘green man’ before  walking casually across the road  in front of school children. He then shoots Jim and while fleeing from the scene, walks out in front of cars holding his hand up to stop them before jogging back along the Glen Road and into Clonelly Avenue, where he disappears.

“Were you standing beside the gunman at the lights, were you driving one of the cars stopped at the pedestrian crossing as he walked across, were you the driver of one of the cars when he stepped out onto the road after he’d murdered Jim.  If you were please get in touch with me or one of my detectives as you may have information which is vital for my investigation."

The gunman was wearing a high visibility, hip-length yellow jacket, with ‘Security’ written on the back, "dark bottoms, with a grey coloured hat or hood and carrying a black or dark bag over his shoulder".

“A dissident republican element is a main line of enquiry and I am appealing to the community to help identify who put the lives of countless children at risk andmurdered Jim.  It was utter madness to fire a gun so close to the school as any one of these bullets could have ricocheted and hit the children standing nearby."

Two men, aged 49 and 51, arrested the day after the murder were released unconditionally.

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Murder victim Jim JD Donegan with his wife Laura
 

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