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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 24 April, 2018
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Kevin McGuigan murder: Two arrested and released over killing of ex-IRA man shot in front of his wife

Kevin McGuigan was gunned down in the Catholic Short Strand area of Belfast.

Kevin McGuigan

POLICE IN Northern Ireland have released two people in relation to the murder of ex-IRA prisoner Kevin McGuigan.

The PSNI earlier confirmed that a 44-year-old man and 39-year-old woman has been arrested as part of their investigation, but both have been released.

Kevin McGuigan was gunned down on Wednesday night at 9pm in the Catholic Short Strand area of Belfast.

The 53-year-old – an ex-IRA prisoner – was spoken to as part of the investigation into the killing of Jock Davison, another republican figure, last May.

Gunned down 

He was shot by two masked gunmen outside his home at Comber Court, the PSNI confirmed this afternoon.

McGuigan had been out with his wife – and got out of their car to open a gate when the men approached him and shot him several times.

He was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital but died a short time later.

“This was a ruthless and premeditated killing, carried out in front of Mr McGuigan’s wife Dolores outside their home,” Detective Chief Inspector John McVea said.

“At this point we believe two men were involved in the murder, approaching Comber Court on foot.

“They fired at Mr McGuigan from point blank range, striking him a number of times in the head and chest.

“They had their faces covered and were wearing dark clothing. Afterwards, they ran off.”

Condemnation 

There has been condemnation of the death from across the North’s political divide.

Addressing speculation about the link between the McGuigan’s murder and the Davison murder, Detective Chief Inspector McVea said McGuigan was spoken to as part of the investigation into the murder of Jock Davison, however he was spoken to as a potential witness, not a suspect.

“At this point in time, that remains the position. Speculation is not helpful and is potentially dangerous.

People should allow the police investigation to take its course and provide any information they have to detectives.

“I would also appeal to those with influence in the community to use all their efforts to reduce tension and appeal for calm and restraint at this very difficult time.”

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning Sinn Fein’s MLA for Belfast South Alex Maskey cautioned people against speculation, stating that it was unwelcome, unhelpful and usually uninformed.

He urged people to leave these matters to the authorities.

The police have appealed for any witnesses to the crime.

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