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Killer of Jim Donegan must be brought to justice

Police have released new information about the cold-blooded murder of Jim Donegan, shot dead as he waited for his son outside a school in west Belfast in December.

This was a profoundly shocking crime, carried out in broad daylight in front of schoolchildren, parents and others.

CCTV footage released at the time showed a lone gunman walking slowly along a busy road, calmly using a pedestrian crossing before going to Mr Donegan's car, firing eight shots and then running back the way he came.

At the time there was unconfirmed speculation about who might be behind the murder but now detectives have linked the killing to the INLA.

This is clearly a significant development and yet more evidence of the malign role played by sinister paramilitary organisations in our society and their involvement in serious criminal activity.

Detectives also said the same killer had been waiting for his victim at the scene five days earlier but Mr Donegan did not collect his son that day.

Police have released new CCTV images which they believe show the gunman as he waited in vain for Mr Donegan to arrive.

A senior police officer said the PSNI had received good cooperation from the community in west Belfast and they have now enlisted the help of the BBC's Crimewatch programme in a bid to further their investigation.

It must be hoped this move along with the fresh details about the case will generate additional information from the public.

Given the fact that this murder was carried out in front of a large number of people and the gunman was captured on CCTV cameras, it is a matter of concern that he has not yet been apprehended.

This is by any standards a highly dangerous individual, who has absolutely no compunction about shooting a man dead in front of children or any number of witnesses.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery described this killing as a 'callous execution.'

The person responsible for murdering Jim Donegan needs to be identified and brought to justice.

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