IRA COMMANDER SHOT DEAD
A FORMER IRA commander investigated for a murder which shook the Northern Ireland peace process has been shot dead in Belfast.
Gerard “Jock” Davison was gunned down yesterday in the republican Markets area near the city centre. He was fatally wounded on Welsh Street at around 9am, police said.
Mr Davison was allegedly involved in the fight that led to the death of Belfast man Robert McCartney in January 2005 and was among three IRA members expelled following an internal investigation.
He was questioned by police but released without charge.
Sinn Fein South Belfast Stormont assembly member Alex Maskey said: “What we have had here today is a very brutal killing of a local man.
“He is a very well-known person in this area. His family are well-known and he is very well-regarded in this area as a long-standing republican.”
A large cordon was put up around the scene and a police forensic tent was erected over the victim’s body.
Small groups of local people and a number of high-profile Belfast republicans stood at the police line watching scenes-of-crime officers in white forensic suits spend most of the morning carrying out detailed examinations of the area.
Most people were reluctant to speak about the shooting but have expressed shock.
Mr McCartney’s sisters led a long-running battle for justice for the killing of their brother, following a bar argument, which took them to the White House.
The killing happened at a time when Sinn Fein was under pressure to accept the rule of law in Northern Ireland.
Its decision to support the police two years later led to the formation of a ministerial executive at Stormont and the sharing of power between republicans and the DUP.
Mr Davison’s uncle, Terence Davison, was later acquitted of Mr McCartney’s killing.