Northern Ireland news

Police release new CCTV footage of Jim Donegan killer

CCTV footage of the lone gunman who murdered Jim Donegan in west Belfast.

POLICE investigating the gangland-style murder of Jim Donegan have released further CCTV footage of the lone gunman who shot the 43-year-old in front of schoolchildren and parents in west Belfast on December 4.

Detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team spoke to parents as they arrived to pick up their children at school yesterday in an effort to obtain information about the man who gunned down the father-of-two as he sat in his red Porsche Panamera.

Mr Donegan, who owned a courier and car sales business in Mallusk, Co Antrim, was waiting outside St Mary's Grammar School on the Glen Road to collect his 13-year-old son when he was shot eight times in the head and chest.

Police have issued new CCTV footage showing the gunman activating pedestrian crossing lights before crossing the road and walking alongside school children, seconds before firing a handgun at Mr Donegan.

A 47-year-old man was arrested in the Turf Lodge area of west Belfast yesterday and taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite where he was being questioned by detectives.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery said: "Hundreds of children were pouring out of the three schools in the Glen Road area of west Belfast at the time – many of them witnessing the assassination of the father-of-two.

"Jim's son was spared from this thankfully but only by a few seconds.

"Mums, dads, grandparents, young siblings and people in the community also saw the brutal slaying. The callous actions of the gunman will have catastrophic psychological effects on them all."

The unmasked killer was seen walking along the Glen Road just minutes before Mr Donegan's £80,000 sports car came into view.

He was then captured on camera jogging back along the Glen Road and into Clonelly Avenue.

There has been no getaway car recovered and no sighting of the killer after that point.

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

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Detective Chief Inspector Montgomery added: "I would like to hear from anyone who saw the gunman or was in the area during these times. Were you driving in the area and have dash-cam footage which could be of use to our investigation?"

Murder victim Jim JD Donegan with his wife Laura.

While police continue to investigate a dissident republican motive, Mr Donegan's associations with warring criminals both north and south of the border have also been linked to the murder.

Notices and tributes have been paid to the dead man by Liverpol-born hitman Jamie Smith, currently serving life in prison for the murder of drug dealer Dougie Morrison, and gangland enforcer Gerard Mackin, who is a relative of the victim.

One of Ireland's most feared criminals, he was jailed last year for his role in an assault during which a 53-year-old man was nailed to a kitchen floor with a nail-gun in Co Limerick.

Mr Donegan's wife Laura has denied he was involved in any criminality.

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