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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 29 May 2022

Police in Belfast appeal for calm after murder of prominent loyalist

The man has been named as prominent loyalist John Boreland.

Police at the scene in Sunningdale Gardens.
Police at the scene in Sunningdale Gardens.
Image: David Young

THE POLICE SERVICE of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has appealed for calm in the wake of the murder of a well-known loyalist.

The incident happened at about 9.50pm last night at Sunningdale Gardens in the Ballysillan area of Belfast according to PSNI spokesman Inspector Tony Fraser.

The man has been named as prominent loyalist John Boreland.

It’s understood that the shooting may relate to an ongoing loyalist power struggle, with the PSNI appealing for calm.

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway, from the PSNI Serious Crime Branch, is leading the investigation and said Boreland was shot at close range a number of times.

Police believe that a shotgun was used in the attack. Mr Boreland was 46; he had lived in north Belfast for some time and leaves two sons and a daughter, a fiancee, a sister and his mother and father. I have visited the family today and I am sure you will understand that they are completely devastated.

“John Boreland was known to police. He had survived a previous attempt on his life in 2014 and had been warned by police about his safety within the past few months.

Police are following a number of lines of enquiry in relation to this murder. Tensions within loyalist paramilitarism and criminality are among those lines of enquiry but they are not the only ones. Our early assessment is that this was not a sectarian attack.


Police are appealing for anyone in the area to come forward, but appealed for calm in Belfast.

North Belfast shooting A police van at the scene today. Source: David Young

Local police Superintendent Paula Hilman condemned the murder.

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She said: “Police are aware of tensions within loyalist paramilitary groupings in north Belfast and surrounding areas.

We already have a significant policing operation in place across north Belfast, so I am appealing for people to be calm and not take the law into their own hands.

“I am also appealing to local people to work with us and provide information about this murder or any criminal activity.”

The PSNI have appealed for witnesses to the shooting to contact them on either 101, or anonymously on the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 1112.

Read: Prominent loyalist shot dead in Belfast

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