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Scene of the shooting in Ardcarn Park, Newry. Diarmuid Pepper/TheJournal
Organised Crime

'Cross border, organised crime feud' probed in Newry 'execution'

A 58-year-old man died after being shot multiple times in a planned ‘ambush’.

POLICE IN THE North are investigating if there is a “cross border, organised crime” element to what’s been described as an “execution” in Newry, Co Down.

Yesterday evening shortly after 6pm, a 58-year-old man was shot dead in the Ardcarn Park area of the city.

Superintendent Norman Haslett, District Commander in charge of Newry, Mourne and Down District, spoke to reporters about the incident at Newry’s Ardmore Police Station.

He called it a “brutal and senseless attack on a defenceless man” by people who “have no moral compass”.

Haslett added: “We believe those responsible went to great lengths to plan this attack and they lay in wait for their victim and they essentially ambushed him and executed him.

“He was shot multiple times at close range and the level of violence used was reprehensible, particularly given the time of day in a busy, built-up residential area. It was beyond reckless, any friend or family member or neighbour could easily have been caught up on the gunfire.”

The PSNI District Commander added that the victim’s car crashed into a nearby property.

Haslett appealed for information in relation to the attack and said a team of detectives are working on the investigation 24/7.

He also acknowledged that there is a “tangible fear and concern” in the area and confirmed that the police presence in the area will be enhanced.

There have been a number of violent incidents in the area in recent months, including acid and hatchet attacks.

While Haslett told reporters “the investigation is at an early stage”, he said a “line of inquiry” is that these incidents are connected.

Haslett also confirmed that the victim had been targeted in a shooting in Dundalk in late October and said the PSNI is investigating a cross border element to the shooting.

“The subject of a cross border, organised crime group feud is something that we will be looking at as a line of investigation at this stage,” said Haslett.

He added that a cross border drugs trade “will be an element of the activity that we are looking at, but not the only element”.

A murder investigation is now underway and forensic officers remain at the scene. 

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