Northern Ireland news

£20,000 reward offered for information about murder of Mark Lovell

Murder victim Mark Lovell
Connla Young

A £20,000 reward has been offered for information about the murder of Mark Lovell in Newry last week.

The 58-year-old was gunned down in the Ardcarn Park area on Thursday night. The killing has been linked to a bitter feud linked to cross-border crime gangs.

The victim was injured during a similar gangland hit in October in Dundalk, Co Louth, during which his dog was killed.

Arson and acid attacks in Newry city centre are all being looked at as part of the murder probe.

Last month, the PSNI launched a public appeal to track down Mr Lovell’s son Ebony Hughes in connection with an incident in the city centre in May 2022.

Days before the murder attack, Mr Lovell's daughter Whitney Hughes was refused bail at Newry Magistrates Court.

The 30-year-old woman is facing a dozen drug charges linked to the alleged possession and supply of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines.

At the hearing on November 23 the court heard an allegation that she “plays a small part in a larger organised crime gang”. Police have confirmed that properties were searched in the Newry area last week as part of their investigation.

Crimestoppers has offered £20,000 "for information the charity exclusively receives that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for" Mr Lovell's murder.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell said "it was a particularly ruthless execution".

"We believe those responsible planned and lay in wait for their victim before opening fire," he said.

He added that at the time of the attack, around 6pm, "people would have been coming home from work, and when families would have been out and about".

"Anyone - any child, neighbour or passer-by - could all too easily have been seriously injured or killed," he added.

Northern Ireland news