Northern Ireland

Jim Donegan murder: 'Two republican groups involved'

The scene of Jim Donegan's murder on Glen Road in west Belfast Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Jim Donegan was shot on Glen Road in west Belfast as he waited to collect his son from school

Police now believe that two republican paramilitary groups were involved in the murder of a man outside a west Belfast school a year ago.

Jim Donegan, 43, was shot dead as he waited to pick up his 13-year-old son outside St Mary's Grammar School on the Glen Road on 4 December 2018.

Police have previously attributed the murder to the INLA.

They now believe another republican group, Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH), was also involved in the shooting.

One gunman carried out the killing which police said was witnessed by hundreds of children and their parents.

Det Ch Insp Peter Montgomery said the investigation into the "callous execution" continues to progress.

He said the gunman is believed to have emerged from Clonelly Avenue onto Glen Road at about 15:10 GMT.

Image caption Police have said Mr Donegan had a number of enemies

"He then walked past numerous children at around 15:15, calmly activated the pedestrian crossing, crossed the road and walked up to Jim's car, firing his weapon eight times before fleeing the scene.

"He was wearing a high-vis, hip length, yellow jacket with security on the back, dark bottoms with a grey coloured hat or hood and carrying a dark bag over his shoulder which I believe contained the gun.

"I want to hear from you if you were in the area at the time. Did you see the gunman? Did he go into a house afterwards or get into a waiting car? Perhaps you have heard anyone talking about the killing?

"I also believe the same man tried to murder Jim five days earlier in circumstances that would appear to be the carbon copy of the actual murder."

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Police previously released an image of what the suspected gunman may look like

Police have made 13 arrests, carried out 12 searches and viewed 342 hours of CCTV as part of their investigation, but no-one has been charged with Mr Donegan's murder.

They previously said that Mr Donegan had a number of enemies.

Det Ch Insp Peter Montgomery appealed for the public's help to take the "ruthless" gunman off the streets.

"He may be late 30s to early 40s, approximately 5ft 8ins and may walk with a limp or may have an existing medical condition that impacts on his walking style," he said.

He urged anyone with information about the day of the murder, or the attempt that was abandoned the previous week, to contact police on 101.

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