Northern Ireland

Gerard Lawlor: Ombudsman to make statement on 2002 murder

Gerard Lawlor was murdered in north Belfast in 2002 (Family handout/PA)
Gerard Lawlor was murdered in north Belfast in 2002 (Family handout/PA) Gerard Lawlor was murdered in north Belfast in 2002 (Family handout/PA)

The Police Ombudsman will deliver a statement later about the PSNI investigation into the murder of a teenage father more than two decades ago.

Gerard Lawlor, a Catholic, was shot dead by loyalists shortly after midnight on July 22 2002.

Mr Lawlor was murdered as he walked along the Floral Road in north Belfast on his way home after a night out at the Bellevue Arms on the Antrim Road.

He was 19 years old and had a partner and an 18-month-old son.

On the evening of July 21, there were five other gun attacks in north Belfast.

No one has ever been charged with or prosecuted for the murder of Mr Lawlor.

PSNI investigations report
PSNI investigations report Police ombudsman for Northern Ireland Marie Anderson (Liam McBurney/PA)

The public statement from Ombudsman Marie Anderson is expected to address concerns raised by Mr Lawlor’s family about the preventability of the murder, protection of informants, allegations of collusion and the PSNI investigation.

The Lawlor family made their complaint to the office of the ombudsman in September 2004.

The murder of Gerard Lawlor was one of the first to be investigated by the PSNI, which had replaced the RUC the previous year.