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Police in Northern Ireland appeal for public's help in finding gunman who killed Dublin criminal yesterday

The PSNI said it believes a man who was shot in Belfast yesterday may be Robbie Lawlor from Coolock.

Police at the shooting in the Ardoyne yesterday.
Police at the shooting in the Ardoyne yesterday.
Image: David Young/PA Images

Updated Apr 5th 2020, 5:15 PM

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland have said they believe a man who was shot in north Belfast yesterday may be 36-year-old Robbie Lawlor from Coolock in Dublin. 

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said formal identification has not yet take place, but there is “sufficient information” for them to believe Lawlor is the deceased man.

“At this stage I believe that a single gunman was involved in the killing, firing multiple shots at the victim and striking him a number of times. The murder weapon has not yet been recovered,” Murphy said. 

Robbie Lawlor was a suspect in the murder of teenager Keane Mulready Woods. He was shot outside a house in north Belfast yesterday morning. 

Lawlor – who was in his 30s – had dozens of previous convictions and it’s understood he’d been warned by gardaí his life was in danger. 

The incident happened at Etna Drive in the Ardoyne area at around 11.50am yesterday. 

Four men aged 33, 30, 27 and 17 have been arrested on suspicion of murder. They are being questioned in the serious crime suite in Musgrave police station in Belfast. 

Two properties, one in west Belfast and one in Crumlin, were searched as part of the murder inquiry. 

“I do not believe that Robbie was in the Ardoyne yesterday by accident. I believe he had some reason to be there and key lines of enquiry for me at this stage are to establish why he was there and what his connection to the address is,” Murphy said. 

Murphy appealed to the public for help in bringing the gunman to justice. He said police are looking to hear from anyone who was in Etna Drive yesterday between 11am and 12.30pm and who may have witnessed the shoting or the gunman escaping.

“I’m also keen to speak to anyone who can help us trace the movements of a VW Scirocco car, registration YLZ 7052. I believe it was in Estoril Park on Friday and was burnt out in Kingston Court immediately after the murder yesterday,” Murphy said. 

Anyone with CCTV, dash cam or phone footage recorded in the area of Etna Drive and Kingston Court is asked to make it available to the PSNI investigative team. 

This footage can be uploaded to the Major Incident Public Portal online. 

It’s understood gardaí are liaising with the PSNI in relation to the investigation which has been launched into Lawlor’s murder. 

83477680_10157715508143001_8791826285732036608_o-2 Keane Mulready-Woods was killed in January. Source: Garda Press Office

17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods was killed and his body dismembered in January.

Some of his remains were found in a hold-all bag in Dublin and others in a burning car two days later. 

His murder is believed to be connected to an ongoing criminal feud in Drogheda, Co Louth.

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With reporting from Garreth MacNamee, PA and Orla Dwyer.

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Sean Murray

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