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Belfast police arrest two men after school gate shooting

The Week logo The Week 2018-12-06 theweek.co.uk
Belfast police arrest two men after school gate shooting. © ®Via Twitter® Belfast police arrest two men after school gate shooting.

Police have arrested two men in connection with the murder of a father-of-two outside of a west Belfast school.

Jim Donegan, 43, was waiting for his son outside of St. Mary’s Grammar School when a gunman approached his vehicle and opened fire on Tuesday afternoon. Donegan was shot eight times, including in the head and died instantly.

More than 1,000 pupils were exiting the school at the time of the attack, including Donegan’s 13-year-old son.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery told the Irish Independent that it was fortunate that nobody else was shot.

“It is utter madness, as any one of these bullets could have ricocheted, and having been at the scene I cannot emphasise enough that it is sheer luck I am not investigating multiple fatalities,” he said.

Progressive advocacy group People Before Profit’s Gerry Carroll told Irish News the attack was “deeply concerning and should be condemned by everybody”.

“It is especially worrying given the children and young people in the area at the time, that somebody sees fit to pull a gun and open fire in the middle of the day.”

Sources told the Irish News they believe the killing may be linked to the Dublin gang war between the Hutch and Kinahan families. Donegan reportedly had business links in the Republic.

The gangs, led by Gerry Hutch and Christy Kinahan, have been at war since 2015, when Hutch’s nephew was killed in Spain on the orders of the Kinahan cartel, according to the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

The gang feud has already been linked to 18 deaths.

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