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Community left stunned after death of neighbour

By Cate McCurry

Published 27/09/2016

Residents reacted with shock and horror as news filtered through that an elderly man had been killed and left in the boot of a car.

This quiet, working-class Lisburn community is not used to the sight of police tapes, forensic officers and the swarm of media who descended on the area following the murder of Gerard Mulligan, a dad-of-four who worked in car sales.

Police were called to Limehurst Way - an area made up of terraced homes - shortly before 4.30pm yesterday after the grizzly discovery was made.

A 44-year-old man, understood to be the victim's son, also called Gerard, was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Neighbours said they were stunned at news of the death of the man who was described as friendly.

One resident said that the pensioner had lived alone for quite some time.

"I would have seen him out and about and he was always chatty if I bumped into him," the resident said. "This is a very quiet neighbourhood and it's a mixed area so we don't have any kind of issues, especially murder.

"Gerry would have chatted away if you ever saw him, he was never a problem, was always very amiable. Whatever has happened has lost him his life."

Another resident watched on as forensic officers dressed in white suits were seen entering the terraced property.

"We never see anything like this happening around here," she said. "I can't believe Gerard was murdered, I never knew him only to say hello to. He was a lovely man."

The victim's son, a second-hand car dealer, had previously been investigated by the now-defunct Assets Recovery Agency. It was said in court that Mulligan Jr was living a lifestyle that far outweighed his means of income, which they suspected he gained through fraud.

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