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Wednesday 31 May 2023 Dublin: 6°C
PA Emergency services outside the Donegal Celtic FC social club yesterday.
# Belfast
Victim in fatal shooting at Belfast social club named
A group of people were watching football at the clubhouse at the time of the shooting.

LAST UPDATE | Oct 3rd 2022, 9:41 PM

A MAN WHO was shot dead in a busy football clubhouse in Belfast has been named as Sean Fox.

The PSNI has launched a murder investigation following the incident, which saw two masked gunmen entering the the Donegal Celtic FC social club while people were watching football on the television yesterday afternoon.

Sean Fox was shot several times and was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Yesterday, two gunmen entered the Donegal Celtic Sports and Social Club and shot Sean a number of times, as a sat enjoying a drink,” PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Millar said. 

“This was a reckless act and there can be no justification for it whatsoever,” he said. 

“This was carried out in a crowded function room where people were watching football at the time and it is only by pure good fortune other patrons were not injured or killed as a result of this disgraceful attack.” 

Chief Inspector Millar said the gunmen walked into the premises past several people before firing their weapons at Sean a number of times. 

He said both men were masked and it is believed they made their escape on foot along Suffolk Road in the direction of Gweedore. 

The Chief Inspector said he has a “number of appeal points” to make. 

He wishes to hear from anyone who say the gunmen as they entered the social club at around 2.25pm or a few minutes later. 

“I am appealing to the community to help identify those who murdered Sean and put the lives of countless other people at risk,” he said. 

He is also appealing to anyone who was on Suffolk Road around the time of the murder and may have any video footage or dashcam footage to save it and contact the PSNI on 101, quoting reference number 1120 02/10/22. 

Information can also be provided via the PSNI’s website or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

BBC reports that Sean Fox, who was in his 40s and originally from West Belfast, had been friends with Jim Donegan, a man who was shot dead outside a school in 2018.

‘A dark cloud’

Sinn Fein MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey, who visited the scene yesterday, said the community was in shock.

“My thoughts and sympathies are with this man’s family,” he said.

“I personally don’t know the victim but what I do know is that there’s a family there and our thoughts and our sympathies are with this man’s family at this stage.”

Maskey urged anyone with information to come forward to police.

“I condemn those responsible. There is no place for guns on our streets,” he said.

SDLP councillor Brian Heading said the incident had “cast a dark cloud over the entire area”.

“People in this community want to be able to live their lives in peace and this shooting in broad daylight in a busy establishment must be condemned in the strongest possible terms by all,” he said.

“People are rightly concerned at the presence of gunmen on our streets and I would urge anyone who knows anything about this shooting to come forward to police as soon as possible. We need these people apprehended to protect the community and ensure that nothing like this happens again.”

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy and Press Association