The Lenadoon estate was left in a state of shock yesterday as it tried to come to terms with the sudden loss of a popular member of the community.
The close-knit community was left reeling by news that a well-known and much-loved father-of-eight had been battered to death — just yards from his home.
Indeed, Seamus Fox (58) was so close to home that the police cordon erected around the murder scene included his well-kept terraced house at Horn Drive.
And throughout yesterday a steady stream of ashen-faced visitors had to make their way through that cordon to offer condolences to the Fox family members who stood in the small garden trying to contemplate the full horror of their father’s fate.
Despite being under the nose of Woodbourne PSNI station, locals have complained that the area is rife with anti-social behaviour.
And even as forensics officers combed the area for clues, crowds of teenagers congregated.
Tim Attwood, SDLP councillor, said the whole area was still stunned.
“The whole community in Woodbourne/Lenadoon is in a state of shock. The thoughts of the whole community will go out to the family. We all need to work with the police to ensure that these individuals involved in this murder are brought to justice.”
At the nearby Donegal Celtic Football Club, where Seamus had spent some of his final hours, the mood was similarly sombre. Officials were reluctant to speak about the murder but one member who declined to be named said he was a “lovely man”.
People also spoke of their outrage at yet another savage killing in west Belfast.
And while the exact circumstances of Mr Fox’s murder have yet to be established, Harry Holland, the popular green grocer who was stabbed to death by car thieves outside his house in Norfolk Drive almost three years ago, and Bap McGreevy, a republican ex-prisoner who was battered in his flat on Ross Street, were never far from their minds.