Northern Ireland news

Co Down woman (21) fighting for her life after boyfriend shot dead in Warrenpoint

 Warren Boylan was shot dead in Warrenpoint while Alice Louise Burns was critically injured

A CROSS border investigation between the PSNI and Gardaí is underway into the murder of a 37-year-old man in Co Down.

Wayne Boylan was shot dead on Friday night while his 21-year-old girlfriend, Alice Louise Burns, was seriously injured in the attack when two masked men entered a house in Lower Dromore Road in Warrenpoint and opened fire.

The young woman, who is from the Co Down town, was hit in the face by shotgun pellets during the shooting at around 7.30pm.

She remained critically ill in the intensive care unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast last night.

The former St Mark's pupil was initially rushed to Daisy Hill hospital in Newry but was transferred to the Royal due to the severity of her injuries.

Alice Louise Burns (21) remained in a critical condition in the Royal Victoria hospital last night

A PSNI spokeswoman last night confirmed that Gardaí were assisting detectives in their investigation.

"PSNI detectives are working with colleagues in AGS (An Garda Síochána) to establish if a vehicle recovered near Dublin yesterday is in anyway connected with the murder of Wayne Boylan," she said.

"At this stage no definitive link has been established."

Police have dismissed rumours that the murder was a case of mistaken identity or linked to the long-running Kinahan/Hutch gangland feud in Dublin.

Police have confirmed the man murdered in Warrenpoint last Friday night was 37-year-old Wayne Boylan

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce said a motive for the killing "has not yet been established" and appealed for information.

He described the murder of the father-of-two as "senseless and callous".

"I would particularly like to hear from anyone who was in the area (on Friday night) and who may have seen two men or any vehicles fleeing from the scene immediately after the shooting," he said.

"Wayne was a father and his two young children without their father...his murder has caused his family and friends immeasurable pain and their lives will be forever changed by his loss."

Sinn Féin assembly member for south Down, Sinéad Ennis, said the "absolute violent nature" of the murder had rocked the small harbour town.

"This type of incident is unheard of in Warrenpoint and has horrified the community," she said.

"There are a lot of elderly people living in the Lower Dromore Road area and they are fearful of further violence. We hope this is an isolated incident."

Ms Ennis added that there had been "a lot of rumours and talk" over the weekend that she didn't think was "helpful to anyone".

"There is a young woman fighting for her life in hospital and my thoughts are with her and her family, I hope she pulls through."

Warrenpoint SDLP councillor Michael Carr said the killing had shocked the town and that his sympathies went out to the victims and their relatives.

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