PSNI confirm murder victim Jim Donegan was 'known to police'
TEN weeks after the murder of car dealer Jim Donegan outside a west Belfast school, the PSNI have now said the victim was known to them and had "a number of enemies".
While The Irish News reported following the attack on December 4 that Mr Donegan was connected to organised criminality and his murder was thought to be linked to those connections, police refused at the time to be drawn on a motive.
The 43-year-old was shot dead in his Porsche car as he waited to collect his teenage son from school on the Glen Road in front of horrified pupils and their parents.
Police recently released a Evofit likeness of the gunman in the case.
Det Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray revealed this week that the lone killer used a semi-automatic pistol.
He said bullet cartridges have been examined and have "garnered us a measure of information".
"Any information that we gain from that, that is the forensic information or intelligence that will drive investigation forward," Mr Murray said.
He also clarified that the father-of-two had a number of enemies who would have "an adverse interest in Jim Donegan, who wanted to hurt him".
"They're all out there and they're all listening to every word I say and they're all trying to work out 'where are they, are they close, are they far, have they got the right people, have they not'."
He added that "Mr Donegan was known to the police, but I'm not going to go into the details of how he was known to the police," saying that detectives were "making progress in this very difficult investigation".
Last week the Police Ombudsman's Office announced that it had started an investigation into how the PSNI dealt with information about a potential threat to Mr Donegan received before his murder.
The ombudsman is investigating whether the information was properly processed.