Northern Ireland news

North Belfast murder victim Danny McClean was under threat at the time of his death

Police at the scene of a fatal shooting tonight on the Cliftonville Road in north Belfast. Picture by Alan Lewis
Claire Simpson and Allison Morris

North Belfast murder victim Danny McClean was under threat at the time of his death.

A former member of dissident group Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) he had previously served a prison sentence for activities linked to that organisation

The shooting happened on Cliftonville Road at around 8.15pm.

Mr McClean is thought to have been in his early fifties. It is understood people living in the area heard around 10 gunshots.

Police have launched a murder inquiry.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said: "We received a report around 8.15 pm, that a man had been shot in the Cliftonville Road area of the city.

"Officers attended, along with colleagues from NIAS.

"Sadly, a man has been pronounced dead."

He urged anyone who was in the area at the time or who may have information about the incident to come forward and assist police with their inquiries.

Officers cordoned off part of Cliftonville Road, close to the Manor Street junction.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it received reports of the shooting.

A spokesman said no patients were transported from the scene.

Police are at the scene of a fatal shooting in north Belfast tonight. Picture by Stephen Davison, Pacemaker

SDLP Oldpark councillor Paul McCusker condemned the attack.

"This is horrific news for a family to receive and the wider community is rightly shocked," he said.

"Those responsible for this shooting have absolutely nothing to offer our community and local residents should be allowed to live their lives without the threat of violence.

"The community does not support these actions. There is no place for violence on our streets.

"An attack of this nature is senseless and horrific at any time, but particularly in the context of a global pandemic that has left our health and emergency services under huge pressure."

Police forensics experts examine the area around a fatal shooting on the Cliftonville Road in north Belfast. Picture by Alan Lewis

Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín said: "The local community are deeply shocked by this incident.

"I am appealing to any witnesses to this shooting to come forward to police and assist their investigation."

People Before Profit councillor Fiona Ferguson, who lives close to the scene, said: "There is never a place for gun violence or murder on our streets but this incident, with many shots reportedly fired, is particularly reprehensible.

"The local community is understandably horrified.

"This is not representative of our local area and certainly not welcomed.

Police at the scene of a fatal shooting tonight on the Cliftonville Road in north Belfast. Picture by Alan Lewis

"My thoughts are with those impacted by the senseless act of violence."

Police at the scene of the shooting in the Cliftonville Road area of north Belfast. Picture by Stephen Davison/Pacemaker

Police are at the scene of a fatal shooting in north Belfast tonight. Picture by Stephen Davison, Pacemaker

  • This article was amended on February 4 2021

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