Ireland

Killers 'tracked murder victim Mark Lovell as he cared for elderly mother'

Detectives have released CCTV footage of a black car police believe was used by the gunmen in the murder of Mark Lovell (right)
Detectives have released CCTV footage of a black car police believe was used by the gunmen in the murder of Mark Lovell (right) Detectives have released CCTV footage of a black car police believe was used by the gunmen in the murder of Mark Lovell (right)

CCTV footage of murder victim Mark Lovell’s final movements as he was followed by his killers has been released in a bid to catch those responsible.

The 58-year-old was shot several times at close range in the evening of December 1 2022 as he sat inside his car outside his home in Ardcarn Park in Newry.

It happened at around 6.30pm, and police said they believe he was followed for a number of hours before the attack.

Police have said they are investigating a number of lines of inquiry, working with An Garda Siochána as the gunmen’s car was found burnt out across the border.

A cross-border criminal gang drugs feud is believed to be one of the lines of inquiry being considered by detectives.

Six people have been arrested for questioning, but no charges have been brought.

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Mr Lovell’s wife Eileen Hughes said he is “sorely missed” every day, particularly by his ill mother, for whom he was the sole carer.

She said his devotion of care was “cruelly” used by his killers to target him.

“Today is the first anniversary of Mark’s brutal and senseless murder,” she said in a statement.

“Mark was an only child.

“He was his elderly mother’s sole carer, and since his murder she has been in hospital broken hearted.

“She still remains there today.

“Mark was a loving son, daddy, grandaddy and husband.

“He was a great friend and he is sorely missed each and every day

“He loved life, he enjoyed a quiet pint and always looked forward to a good concert.

“Each day Mark made his way to look after his mother in Meigh.

“Ultimately this devotion of care was cruelly used against him by his murderers.

“We want to take this opportunity to make a heartfelt plea to anyone with information to come forward, to clear their conscience and bring these evil killers to justice, not only for Mark’s family and friends but for the good of everyone in the area.”

Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Kelly said police are making a renewed appeal for information on the first anniversary of his murder.

He said the charity Crimestoppers has offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.

“We believe the gunmen lay in wait for Mark before shooting him,” he said.

“This was a planned ruthless and targeted attack, one which shocked an entire community and which has left a loving family bereft.

“One life was taken and any passer-by could easily have been injured or killed by the reckless volley of bullets.”

Mark Lovell murder
Mark Lovell murder Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Kelly makes a fresh appeal for information around the murder of Mark Lovell (Liam McBurney/PA)

He said he believes the gunmen travelled in a black C-class Mercedes which was later found burnt out in the Dundalk area.

“I now know they followed Mark earlier that afternoon to Meigh where he was spending time with his sick mother.

“Mark was her sole carer,” he said.

“New CCTV footage, which we are releasing for the first time, shows the killers black Mercedes at the crossroads in Meigh.

“This is at 5.11pm, the car had false Northern Ireland registration plates, however the number was not identifiable on CCTV.

“I know the Mercedes was stolen from the Dublin area in July 2022.

“The CCTV shows the Mercedes turning left on the Chapel Road.

“It immediately takes a left turn on to a car park where it turns around and comes back again towards the same cross roads.

“From here it heads right in the direction of Forkhill.

“While the Mercedes is turning into the car park, Mark’s car can be seen approaching the same cross roads.

“He’s driving a black Volkswagen Golf and is travelling in the direction of Meigh heading toward Newry.

“He stops off in Newry city centre before heading home to Ardcarn Park, and I believe that, as he reaches Ardcarn, the gunmen were already there and waiting.

“I’m appealing to anyone with information, who may have captured dashcam footage, to come forward.”